Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
Typically I have seen the above passage used in the context of marriage, probably due to the reference to two people keeping each other warm, but in actually this wisdom scripture can be applied to the broader context of friendships.
This week at Centre Church we are launching all of our Small Groups with groups meeting in homes all over Surrey and Langley. What gets me excited as a pastor is to watch the relationships form in these groups as people wrestle through placing Jesus at the centre of their lives. The incredible part of small groups is that they allow for people to develop friendships that reflect the sentiments of the above scripture.
This is deeply important for two reasons: 1) A recent study was conducted in Vancouver reporting that nearly a third of people aged 18-24 were lonely (read here) and this statistic is continually increasing. 2) According to the TalkTrack research used in Ed Keller and Brad Fay’s The Face-to-Face Book: Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace, our conversations in person are much more powerful than those online. Keller-Fay’s TalkTrack research study also suggests that 90% of the influential conversations that we have every day happen offline, while only 8% are online. This is why small groups are so important to people's faith development. Small Groups connect us and influence us to live out God's calling for our lives for as read God's word, keep each other accountable, confess sin, and pray for one another.
So today as you're reading this I want to challenge you to get into a small group where deep, meaningful relationship takes place. There are many events, activities and the like that can busy up our time, but there is nothing that replaces a small group in the life of someone committed to following Jesus.
As the writer of Ecclesiastes states, "two are better than one and a strand of three cannot easily be broken."
Prayer Focus: Pray today for all of the small group leaders and members. Pray that God would unite the groups, develop deep relationships, take their Next Step of faith and that each person would have a personal encounter with Christ.