Lenten Devotional // Third Sunday

Sunday, March 20
THE PRACTICE OF LEARNING by Seth Botts

Reflection
When I attended my first Explore Group in the Summer of 2021, I had been attending the church for several months and was existing as simply a consumer of christianity, I was far from an empowered Christian leader. I would attend Sunday sermons, arriving once worship had started and leaving immediately after the closing prayer. Through this intimate group of people, which would eventually become my Core Group, I began being challenged to look at passages in the Bible that made me uncomfortable, discuss what Jesus meant to me, and view Christian principles through other perspectives. Through the vulnerability required to learn in a small group, I have been transformed from being a consumer of Christinaity, into an empowered leader in the church.
The immense personal growth that comes from gathering together with a small group of people, studying and dissecting the text through diverse experiences and asking difficult and challenging questions was something that both John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, and Jesus Christ himself found immensely valuable. Although Jesus had a vast following of individuals the bible labels as disciples, he chose an intimate group of 12 to become the apostles, to learn and grow together (Luke 6:13). These apostles were not intellectual powerhouses or strong and charismatic leaders, they are actually notorious for asking silly questions, making attempts to gain personal power and were plagued with doubt. All of these things are key in the vulnerability that is needed to learn in small groups.

Prayer
Dear God, please help me with the willingness to be vulnerable enough to grow, trusting that my fellow Christians will accept and love the parts of me that I am not yet able to love myself.

A practice to try this week:
What areas of my life can benefit from the vulnerability required to learn in a small group? Am I operating as a Christian consumer or am I on a path to becoming an empowered leader in the church?

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