“Circles” are essential to us at Madison Church. They’re part of our strategy for connecting people with God and each other. We have systems to help people read the Bible daily and pray regularly. We also have a plan for sharing meals with one another.
(We literally have “eat together” on our website. I don’t think I’ve ever heard or seen yet of another church putting on their website that eating together is part of the strategy.)
As such, we host a free community lunch on the first Sunday of every month. We also put it in our bylaws that for people to be members of our church, they must be involved in at least one small group a year. That’s how serious “circles” are to us.
“Circles” aren’t just crucial to MC, though. I know that they’re essential to you too. Think about some of the most meaningful moments in your life and where they happened? Around a kitchen table? On a road trip? In a restaurant?
Some of the most meaningful times in your life have happened in a “circle.” I can vividly remember when God called me to start a church. It wasn’t in a row at a church service. It was in a “circle” at my dorm.
None of us were created or meant to live life alone. We are made for relationships. God’s intention has always been to bless us uniquely through circles. That’s always been God’s desire and design for us. There’s such an emphasis on this in the New Testament, as there are 70+ commands that can’t be done alone.
The message of the New Testament is clear: Not only were you made for community, but you can’t do all the things that God wants you to do by yourself. If you don’t have another person in your life, you can’t do over 70 things God wants us to do.
We need each other for our faith to succeed and our souls to thrive. That’s another reason why our current study is so vital. We don’t just talk about relationships; we actually do what we’re talking about. We got to have a belief that exists between Sundays. We must have faith that lasts more than an hour on Sundays.
But let’s make a transition now and point out that our “circles” don’t solely exist as something for us to consume. We’ve been talking about signing up and showing up in the last two weeks. That’s the angle of you getting involved. Still, your community is intended to be a conduit to bring God’s blessing to the world around you.
What’s keeping you from expanding your circle? Who do you need to include in your circle? Is there someone that you need to call up or text message this week? That will require you to step up, so the challenge this week is to step up.
I was once an outsider. Before I’d ever come into a place where I could even experience Jesus, I was somebody who was invited into a “circle.” Somebody said, why don’t you be part of my circle? Why don’t you come to the youth group on Wednesday night with me? It changed my life that somebody took the risk and invited me.
There are people around you today who could have their lives changed if you included them in your “circle.” When you expand your circle to include others, you’re not just helping them make new friends. You are giving them a chance to meet Jesus. And when you do this, you show them love they won’t find anywhere else.
Let’s be inclusive.
In a world full of closed circles, Madison Church should be the most open circle in Madison, Wisconsin. Let’s collectively step up and make that happen.