For seven years, my family has done something that looks a little strange to the world… But it shouldn’t look strange to this community. Each Thursday, starting at 6 PM, we gather with 4 families in one of our homes.

Over time, so much about this gathering has changed:

  • The number of families. It took us a few years to realize that smaller was better. This will look different for each group, but for us, 8 adults allows for real connection… but we always leave space at the table for another family to join.
  • Our stages of life. Two years ago, we added newlyweds. Most of us had already been married for a decade, so, they were a sweet reminder of what the early years look like.
  • The ages of our children. There was a short season where all of our kids were school-aged. Then, the newlyweds had their first. Soon, another family will have their second. Each time a baby is added to the mix, we’re reminded of why we gather… To model the Christian life for our children.

And really, that’s what a Journey Group is… It’s an outward expression of our faith, much like baptism or communion. It’s a stepping out and setting aside of our comfort and our time. And, it’s a commitment to living more like Jesus.

Our group, and really any Journey Group, should be based in Acts. Chapter 2 is called “The Fellowship of the Believers” and this is what it says:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Line by line, I could go through that chapter and share stories of ways our community has served in these ways… And my little family couldn’t have accomplished any of it on our own.

Together, we’ve formed a discipline of simply gathering… And in that, we’ve seen miracles. We’ve taken communion and shared in worship. We’ve laid hands and seen some of our own be healed from disease. When needed, we’ve supported one another financially. We’ve baptized and discipled one another… And we’re really good at the breaking of bread and eating with glad and sincere hearts.

Friends, it’s much too easy to let this walk be about us. Private devotion is so important. Family discipleship is so important. But, community is also SO important. It’s a counterculture way to live, but, it’s the way Jesus lived. He didn’t stick to his own. He gathered people—imperfect, bound to let you down people—and he kept them close. He loved them when it wasn’t easy, he served them when they didn’t deserve it, and together, they changed the world.

Find your people. Love them. Serve them. Then go change the world together.