Here are my verses for the next week;
Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
To me, these verses is a great mission statement for any life group/ small group/ community group/ Bible study (why do we Christians come up with so many names for those groups anyway?). I think it's easy for small groups (and churches for that matter) to become inwardly focused. Where each person shows up to get their needs met, and when their needs aren't getting met by that group anymore they move on. It's easy for the group to get so wrapped up in fellowship, accountability, encouraging each other, and living life together that they can forget that they are coming to group (or church) to be filled up that they may be sent out. It's easy to forget that we are there to meet the needs of others and minister to them also. That by us doing that we are being the body of Christ.
I love how in verse 23 the focus in on the Lord, on our hope in Him, and on His faithfulness. It's always a good idea to start out anything (a group meeting, prayer, ministry, church, etc) focused on God and His greatness. I love how verse 24 talks about spurring each other on towards love and good deeds... how basically that there should be fruit in our lives as a result of the Lord, as a result of the work He does in us through these groups. That at times group can be about discussing theology, or sharing our struggles and being vulnerable, but that ultimately this fellowship is for the purpose of spurring forth loving acts of kindness in our lives. Verse 25 wraps this up pefectly... stressing perseverance in us meeting together, that even when life gets busy and hectic, even when we have conflict with those in our group and times get hard, that we are still the body, that we still need this support, and without being filled up we are useless to go out into the world, so let us keep encouraging each other.