Have you ever been part of a group that was truly great? A group that you wish could be copied whenever you had to do anything. It could be a team you’ve been on or it could simply be a group-project where you all worked really well together. The group just worked.
I think most of us have also been a part of terrible groups. Teammates constantly fighting to be seen as the “most important” person on the team. Group members who don’t do anything, leaving the project’s success up to everyone else. No one wants to be in that group again.
The Bible has a lot to say about how we are supposed to treat each other. In fact, the phrase “One Another” is found almost a hundred times in the New Testament. That’s a lot of focus on how we can build great relationships!
About 1/3 of those “One Another’s” has to do with Unity. When a group doesn’t have unity it turns into a huge match of tug-of-war. The groups-within-the-group end up competing to get their own way while the other groups are left in the dust. In youth group this year, let’s not have two groups (Junior High & High School) who happen to meet at the same time. Let’s tear down all the barriers that could divide us and be ONE. United. Together.
Another 1/3 of the “One Another’s” focuses on our calling to Love One Another. How do you think my wife would respond when I taker her out to celebrate our anniversary and tell her that I’ve made reservations because, “It’s simply the right thing to do. Afterall, that’s what you’re supposed to do on your anniversary!” SLAP! Wrong answer! That’s not love. It might be “the right thing to do,” but it’s totally missing the point. But that’s how some people come to church and to youth group… “It’s the right thing to do. That’s what we’re supposed to do on Sundays!” I want Youth Group to be a place where we truly love one another. We’re not the same: different ages, schools, hobbies and personalities… but we can love each other in the midst of our differences. I want you to LOVE coming to youth group because you know this is a place where we are united and where you are loved.
Finally, a bunch of other “One Another’s” focus on Servanthood. Unity + Love = Servanthood. If we are “One Another’ing” one another, then we will be serving each other. Placing other people’s needs above our own. Leaving our group of friends to go hang out with the kid in the corner by himself. Making sure we don’t eat all the food while others get the crumbs. Will you come to youth group to be served… or will you come to serve and care for one another?
How to Build a Great Group
1. Learn each other’s names! That’s why we have a new picture wall when you first come into the room. If you’re not already up there, let us take your picture and you can write your first name on the picture as a “cheat sheet” for others.
2. Affirm One Another. Catch each other being awesome and tell others about it! Write an anonymous note to encourage someone using the green sheets of paper and hang it on the picture wall.
3. Pray for Each Other. What keeps you awake at night? What do you daydream about? Let us know how we can be praying for you! Use the orange sheets for these prayer requests and post them on the picture wall, we’ll leave them up there for a while so we remember to pray more than once!
4. Celebrate Together! Where have you seen God at work lately? Share some good news with us (note: this isn’t an excuse to brag about how awesome you are, but do feel free to share exciting news with the group). Since yellow is a happy color, use the yellow paper for these celebrations on the picture wall.