For the last 12 years, I’ve been meeting several times a month with 3-4 other guys that I call my fellowship group. The group looks very different now than it did when I was a freshman in college, but our reason for meeting hasn’t changed.

We all need other people to help us follow Jesus. 

That’s why Brian, Jeremy, and I drag ourselves over to Carytown Coffee every other Wednesday from 6:00-7:30am. And yes, before the time change, it looked (and felt) like the middle of the night. Our goals for every conversation are simple:

  1. Know your sin.
  2. Fight your sin.
  3. Trust your Savior. 

Actually, these goals are not original to me. They’re taken from Jonathan Dodson’s outstanding book, Gospel Centered Discipleship. Dodson’s book is all about the role of community in learning to follow Jesus. He writes with two groups in view:

  1. Christians who don’t have anyone in their life who knows how you’re reallydoing
  2. Christians in “accountability” groups that spend more time talking about Jay Gruden than Jesus Christ

Allow me to tempt you to read the whole thing with one of my favorite quotes:

“Gospel-centered discipleship is not about how we perform but who we are – imperfect people, clinging to a perfect Christ, being perfected by the Spirit. As a result, I no longer stand at the top of the stairs but sit in the living room, where I can share my faith and my unfaith, my obedience and my disobedience, my success and failure. As we give and receive the gospel, we don’t linger in imperfection, unbelief, disobedience, and failure. The Bible repeatedly tells us to fight. We have to fight to believe this gospel…We need to remind one another that Jesus has not called us to performance or indifference but to faith in him. We need relationships that are so shaped by the gospel that we will exhort and encourage one another to trust Jesus every single day.” (p. 18)

I need a lot of help from guys like Brian and Jeremy in order to follow Jesus. You do too. So pick up a copy of Gospel-Centered Discipleship from the book shoppe next Sunday. And if you need help starting a fellowship group, don’t hesitate to ask your Community Group Leader or pastor. That’s why we are here!

Matthew Williams grew up attending KingsWay and joined the pastoral staff in 2009. God has blessed him and his wife, Aliza, with three rambunctious boys, Ethan, Micah, and Tyler. Matthew did his undergraduate work at the University of Richmond in chemistry and political science, spent a year at the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s College, and is nearly finished with his Masters of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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