Through sermons we receive the instruction and truth of God’s Word, and in groups it is transferred to us through relationship.
I preached a sermon (listen here) on what it means to be fully known. The purpose of it was to highlight the importance of being plugged into one of the main highways of discipleship at our church: Stonegate Groups.
Stonegate Groups exist to enjoy Jesus by becoming fully known in gospel-centered community multiplying throughout the South DFW metroplex.
Here are some helpful Q&As on the concept of ‘fully known’:
What does it mean to be fully known?
To be fully known is to take the journey to ‘Family Mountain’ where there is no pretense or pretending, where people are 100% known in both their strengths and weaknesses. That journey to ‘Family Mountain’ includes: INTERESTING, COOL, AWESOME HILL (friendship is starting to form, you see the good parts you’re allowed to see), CRUDDY VALLEY (you see the ugly, selfish, sinful parts and you choose to stay), and then eventually FAMILY MOUNTAIN (where you are 100% known with trust to belong and be challenged).
It’s worth mentioning that if you’re 99% known and 1% unknown, you’re still unknown.
Who are we supposed to be fully known with?
First, and foremost, the Lord. Secondly, gospel-centered community.
What is a gospel-centered community?
A group of believers whose enjoyment in Jesus leads to a cycle of transformation and multiplication.
How do I get plugged into a Stonegate Group?
There are several ways to do this:
- Website | You can click on this link (https://sgchurch.churchcenter.com/groups/stonegate-groups) to find our Groups page. If you’re starting at our website at stonegate.church, you’ll go to ‘Life at Stonegate,’ then ‘Groups,’ then click on ‘Find a Stonegate Group. On the page, you will be able to see a map of all of our Groups, as well as be able to filter the Groups available based on neighborhood and day of the week. Once you find a Group that interests you, you can use the leader contact information provided to get more details on the meeting location, weekly rhythms, childcare provision, etc.
- Email | If you’d prefer to get some personal recommendations to better suit what you’re looking for in a Stonegate Group, email . We’d be happy to offer some suggestions based on your needs.
- Group Flyer | One of our Groups team members is usually always in the welcome area on a Sunday morning to assist you with finding a Stonegate Group. Our Groups flyer lists Groups by region and is available for the taking for those that prefer to keep it old school.
What does it take to become fully known in a Stonegate Group?
I have three suggestions for anybody seeking to be fully known, and they all revolve around one word: discipline.
Discipline yourself to:
- Plead | for community. This means making it known that you need Biblical community/friends and that you don’t have the right answers and direction to live a godly life on your own. Whether you do so through a personal interaction with someone at a church gathering or through seeking out Groups information from our staff or website (see question 4), you must start with self-awareness and taking the initiative to seek out what you desperately need.
- Risk | your comfort. Discomfort looks different for each person, but the gospel will eventually lead us into places of discomfort. Cruddy valley (see question 1) is incredibly uncomfortable and could be costly, but it’s worth it! Why? Because the reward is unashamedly following Jesus alongside people that love you regardless of where you’re at, while spurring you on (through both encouragement and admonishment) to look more like Jesus. You don’t have to hide your insecurities at the foot of the Cross with your brothers and sisters in Christ!
- Fight | against the path of least resistance. The tendency will be to find an excuse not to go to a Stonegate Group. And trust me, there are plenty right at your disposal. Whether it’s kids, tiredness, busyness, lack of instant connection, etc., we all can very easily argue that our season of life doesn’t work for jumping into community at the moment.
Can I tell you a little secret? There’s never a good time to commit to community. With jobs, we have demanding work loads. With school, we have an overwhelming amount of homework. With babies, you don’t get much sleep. With toddlers, life (primarily our sanity) is just unstable. With little kids, they have activities and birthday parties at an unmanageable frequency. With teenagers, schedules and time together as a family is few and far between. With empty-nesting, there’s vacations to be had, parents to start taking care of, and children that still need help with taking care of their own children. And the cycle continues.
We must fight against the tendency to gossip and judge. Fight against the temptation to enjoy one more night at home this week. Fight against the comfort of only communing with people you like and that like you back. It’s not easy — that’s why it’s a fight, that’s why it’s a battle. And it’s a spiritual one at that (Eph. 6:10-20)!
Ultimately, my encouragement for any one that’s seeking to be fully known, is to not give up. Don’t give up on finding a Group. Don’t give up on the church that’s potentially burned you time and time again when you’ve opened yourself up. Don’t give up on Jesus who has redeemed you into His broken, busted, and messy family. Discipline yourself to plead, risk, and fight for the opportunity to be fully known in gospel-centered community; with the hope of you enjoying Jesus with brothers and sisters in Christ as you are transformed and multiplied for His glory.
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