Summary: If you expect the people in your group to be “normal,” you’re in for a big surprise. If you hope to build close-knit community with other Christians by joining a small group, you have to bring a different expectation. You have to expect that everyone is fatally flawed, and that those flaws will negatively affect you at some point. How you handle this will make all the difference.
Summary: When it comes to connecting in close-knit community, we are bankrupt. But this is the foundation of God’s ultimate purpose. This was the case before time began, and it was His purpose for creating. Therefore, it’s the highest achievement a Christian can attain. But in order to do so, we have to allow our abnormalities to connect us instead of divide us.
Summary: We’re in the midst of a cover-up. True community only develops as our true selves are exposed to each other over time. If this process isn’t accompanied by humility and acceptance in the groups’ members, it will destroy itself from the inside out.
Summary: Anger and conflict in church life are inevitable, and the Lord provided us with 7 keys to deal with it in a way that promotes oneness – our ultimate goal.
A huge part of this is developing the skill of handling anger and conflict. This skill is essential if we hope to allow our abnormalities to connect us instead of divide us and fulfill the ultimate goal of the Christian life – oneness with God with each other.
Summary: Unforgiveness is a wrecking ball to the house of God. When we practice it, we are like the unmerciful servant who lives by the principle of “You owe, I’ll make you pay.” But the life of Christ operates by the principle of “You owe, I’ll pay.” He embraces the pain and reacts in ways that benefit us.
Summary: In a healthy church, there’s extreme honor for one another brought about as a response to the revelation of extreme love and indebtedness to God it’s received. When people in a church are treated with honor, their behavior increasingly falls in line with their treatment and they will progressively act in line with who they are in Christ.
Summary: We’re very prone to deception, especially when we’re isolated from the truth-telling that our brothers and sisters in Christ can bring us. Healthy church life reveals what we truly are as we become known to each other. Only when we can accept the truth about ourselves from each other can we experience the freedom that comes along with it.
Summary: God’s ultimate goal for us with Him is oneness, and the flesh fights against this in ways that aren’t always obvious. We constantly have to be on the lookout to make sure our differences (which are good and pure) don’t cause divisions.