Faithlife Sermons

Be There For One Another

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Announcements Script:
It’s good to be here and good to see each of you. PRAY. This has been a very difficult week. I know many of you went to Shayla’s funeral. Several of us weren’t able to. Guys, I’m so sorry for your loss. Her death has affected all of us. If anyone needs to talk about what you’re feeling, feel free to reach out to me or the adults here ANY TIME. We will be processing our emotions for a while still. I want tonight to be a breath of fresh air in the middle of all of the difficult things going on. I won’t say much more as a group, but i wanted to share some passages with you.
Psalm 34:18 CSB
The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit.
God is near to us in these times. He cares for us.
John 11:35 CSB
Jesus wept.
This short verse came when Jesus’ best friend died. In this story, Jesus raises his friend back to life. But before that he experiences the pain of loss. Jesus knows what it feels like to lose someone. He gets it. He understands what many of us are going through.
If you need to talk more, please reach out.
It is SO good to see everyone. I mean that.
Stand up. I want you to go around and give 10 people a high 5. Here’s the catch, you also have to tell them “It’s good to see you!”
I’m gonna be up here giving out hugs. If you need a hug, come find me.
Winterfest recap
Remind - get the app
Girls BS
VBS meeting
____________________
Tonight’s lesson was actually planned for next week, but I believe this lesson goes really well with everything else on our minds.
Tonight we are talking about accountability.

Accountability

It basically means supporting/helping one another. To “be there” for one another.
It has to do with supporting each other and helping one another be responsible for their decisions.
A phrase you’ll hear tonight is an “accountability partner”. This is when you and a close friend team up and decide to “be there for each other”. It’s a commitment to help, support, challenge, each other. They commit to get in your business and call you out when you’re drifting from God, and you commit to get in their business and call them out when they drift from God.
Accountability is such an important part of the Christian life, but nowadays it’s rare.
Our world/culture has isolated us from each other. We don’t spend enough time face-to-face with individual people. Let’s talk for a second about an almost extinct home feature that has something to do with relationships. Does anyone know the purpose of a front porch?
[front porch picture]
Houses used to be designed with elaborate porches. Porches are all about community. They encourage two people to sit down together and enjoy each other’s company. You could be walking the neighborhood (also something that used to happen) and just decide to sit and catch up with “bob” who was sitting on his porch. Nowadays, we have like fortresses for homes. People have privacy fences, back porches, automatic garage doors, and just a small, simple front door. Now homes are blocked off, awkward.
Similar to this trend in home design, many of us have become more isolated/private with our lives.

One Problem: We don’t share enough

We don’t share much about our lives (aside from the good stuff we post on snapchat or instagram). We keep to ourselves. If we struggle we think of it as a weakness and hide it. Or we believe the lie that we should be ashamed. We need to be able to talk to each other about when we’re NOT okay. We don’t share enough. You ready for some honesty from me? I don’t share enough:
I like to feel smart/prepared. I love youth ministry - lots of times teaching/youth ministry stresses me out, scares me, and I feel awful at it. Sometimes I feel like I have no business being in front of you.
I love making jokes, I have since 1st grade. But you know what else, I struggle with my self-confidence at times. I feel like I just annoy people (which, realistically, I definitely do sometimes).
Despite having over 1k facebook friends, tons of insta followers, an awesome church, and a great family - I still struggle with loneliness at times.
Despite being a Christian leader, I still feel the urge every now and then to crawl back to the destructive habits that kept me prisoner for so long as a teenager and younger adult.
So, I don’t share enough. I bet you don’t either. I challenge you to share more. You don’t have to shout it from the rooftops, post it on social media, or stamp it on your forehead, but here in this safe place, in your small groups, among your trusted friends, share more. Will you consider this:

When someone asks you a real question, give a real answer.

but y’all there is a bigger problem I want to address tonight.

The Bigger Problem: We don’t ask enough

Accountability is a two-way street. Someone is there for you, but YOU have to be there for someone else. Like we just talked about, we need to share more. We need to make it normal for each other to share. But you know what, at the end of the day, we can’t force anyone to share. But we can ask. We can create the environment where someone could share.
Let me tell you a secret. For over two years now at church we’ve had small groups on Wednesday nights to try and do better about asking enough. We have tried to make our groups better, more consistent, and safer so that ya’ll can honestly answer our discussion questions. We’re trying to do better about asking questions so that you can share.
Asking, good questions is so important. You need to ask more questions in your relationships. For the people you care about, you need to roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty, and dive into their lives. Don’t just ask them once, keep asking, keep digging. They may not respond. In some cases, if you’re close enough and you know the trust is there, keep asking until you get a real answer. If it’s not someone you’re super close to, maybe don’t pressure every time, but ask more frequently.
When you ask someone a real question make sure you are prepared to hear a real response. Don’t do drive-by questioning.

Care enough to ask

Y’all this is weird. It’s strange. it’s uncomfortable. But it is the right thing to do. Not only that, if you’re a Christian, it’s the Biblical thing to do.
Galatians 6:2 CSB
Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
This is just one verse here, but it’s in the context of accountability. this extended passage talks about when/if your Christian brothers/sisters are drifting away from God it is our duty to get involved in their lives and to help share the load they are struggling with.
What is the “law of Christ”? When Jesus was alive, someone asked him, Out of all of the laws God has given, what is the most important? Here is his answer, this is the law of Christ, these two commands:
Mark 12:30–31 CSB
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is, Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.”
Love God with everything in you. and Love People like you love yourself. Wow! Now, that’s a huge challenge, but it’s simple. Not easy, but simple. So
Galatians 6:2 CSB
Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
gives us some details. We can love God and love our neighbors when we help each other carry their burdens.
That is accountability. It is beautiful. We need more accountability in our lives. You, me, all of us.
Let’s look at one more passage that is a good example of accountability.
Hebrews 10:24–25 NIV
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
When you think of a spur do you think warm, fuzzy, friendly thoughts? Ya’ll know cowboy/rodeo culture way more than me, but I understand what a spur is meant to do. It’s a motivator. to be clear, I’m not suggesting you use sharp things to “motivate” your friends to be more Godly. What this is saying is that we need to focus on accountability. We need to motivate each other towards God. Whether that is encouragement or intervention. It’s so important that we are part of each others lives.
We don’t share enough and we don’t ask enough.

We need to be there for one another.

Tonight, which 1 or 2 people in your life you need to accountable with. Then have a conversation with them about that. don’t assume you’re on the same page. Talk about it with them. I love you guys, I need this too. Let’s commit to be there for one another. That is what church is all about.
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