Why You Need Others For Support with Rick Warren

– Hello everybody and welcome to Saddleback This weekend I’m continuing my tour of all of our campuses and I’m at Saddleback Corona for an anniversary service there and we love Corona and the amazing growth that’s just got a new building and we’re excited about all that’s going on there Now if you take out your message notes, I wanna begin with a fundamental truth about you You are not just a body Okay, you’re not just a body You’re far more than just your physical frame Your body is very important but you have a soul and you have a spirit Now the world only focuses on your body and your mind but God also cares about the development of your soul and your spirit and that’s why he put you on Earth To develop your spirit and your soul before you’re ready for eternity I talk about in Purpose Driven Life that life is a test and life is a trust and life is a temporary assignment before eternity and God has five purposes for you here while you’re on this planet Now, the Bible talks about these five purposes in detail and I even wrote about them in the Purpose Driven Life but attached to those five purposes for your life are five deep emotional and spiritual needs Your five deepest emotional and spiritual needs Now next weekend I’m gonna go deeper in explaining these so don’t worry about writing this down, it’s just a little sneak preview but all five of these needs that God placed in you can only be met by full participation in God’s family God’s family, the church is the tool that God created to meet your deepest needs So what are they? Well your deepest emotional and spiritual needs are, you need spiritual support and stimulation You need, number two you need spiritual strength and stability Number three, you need an empowering sense of awe which actually comes from connecting with the supernatural and with the sacred in a relationship with God Number four, you need self worth and self expression Those go together and finally, you need to feel significance and satisfaction Now these five deepest emotional and spiritual needs are connected to God’s five purposes for your life But you cannot fulfill them by yourself You will never satisfy them by yourself, you can try but you’ll fail Only by being connected to God’s family will these needs ever be met in your life Now first, just like a brand new baby needs family, to care for it, a baby can’t care for itself You need to first embrace and connect with a spiritual family that gives you spiritual support and spiritual stimulation In other words you need both comforting, sometimes you need comfort and you need challenging Sometimes you need to be challenged to get off your rear end and get moving and you need these from other people Now the Bible calls this connection fellowship and membership in the body of Christ That’s your first and deepest need You need a family that’s gonna give you support and stimulation, number two, you need to establish a solid worldview and I’ll explain this in the weeks ahead that gives you a spiritual strength, gives you the spiritual strength and stability that you’re gonna have in the storms of life Life is tough and you have to know how to handle life and how to handle all of the trauma and the tribulations and the trials that come at you and you gotta be spiritually strong for that Now how do you grow spiritual strength? Well the answer is only by being spiritually stretched Just like a muscle can only grow stronger by being stretched your spirit and your soul must be stretched in order to be strengthened That’s part of my job and the Bible calls meeting this need in your life, the need for spiritual strength, discipleship Number three, you need to experience the sacred and the supernatural power of God in your life and what that does is it gives you a sense of awe, you need a sense of awe in your life If you don’t have any awesome in your life, you’re bland, you’re boring and you’re probably not very happy in your life Now what is awe, a sense of awe? Awe is a mixture of emotions It combines reverence and wonderment for something greater than yourself Have you noticed that human beings are naturally attracted and drawn to awe-inspiring sights? We go see ’em on vacation We’re naturally attracted, drawn to awe-inspiring sights and awe inspiring sounds and awe-inspiring experiences and awe-inspiring feelings We love the feeling of awe We love being awed, why? Because we instinctively know that there’s something or someone out there that’s greater than we are and that is no accident

Have you ever thought about it, why is it that every single culture in the world worships? Every single culture worships because you’re wired for worship as a human being You can’t help it The fact is you’re wired for worship and if you don’t worship God, you’re gonna worship something You might even worship yourself or your boat or your career or a celebrity But you’re gonna worship something because we’re wired for worship Now it’s a paradox, I want you to listen to this that without awe which is worship in your life, without awe in your life, your life becomes awful That’s a paradox, without awe in your life, your life becomes awful But on the other hand, with awe in your life, if you regularly experience moments of awe in your life, your life becomes awesome Awesome and awe comes from the sacred, that’s called worship The fourth need that you have in your life, the fourth need is express your spiritual gifts in service and that’s what gives you self worth You need to feel good about yourself, you need self worth and you need self expression Now notice, I haven’t said a word about success because status and salary and success do not give you self worth but self expression, of being what God made you to be does Let me say it another way You need a place to shine You need a place to sparkle, you need a place of self expression, that is essential to your spiritual and emotional health and when people don’t have a place to shine or sparkle and to express the shape, the God-given spiritual gift, hard ability, personality, experiences that God gave them then you get bored with life Starting out you need a safe place to discover and to develop your spiritual gifts and your shape, now I want you to listen You can develop your natural talents anywhere You can develop ’em on a football field if you’re talented in that area, you can develop ’em at work, you can develop the natural talents which by the way, God gave you those too anywhere but you can only discover the spiritual gifts that God has put inside you and given you, the only place you can discover that is in a church family Because that’s where God gives them, spiritual gifts are given out through his family and that’s where he expects you to use them And if you never discover your spiritual gifts the one, he said, I don’t even know that I’ve got gifts Oh yeah you do The Bible talks about them a lot but if you never discover them it’s a huge loss Not only here on Earth but in the rewards that you’re gonna miss in eternity You know, it’s another paradox of life that I said without awe your life is awful but with awe your life becomes awesome It’s also true that in your life, that self respect and self worth listen, come through selflessness Self respect and self worth actually come through selflessness Not by focusing on yourself It doesn’t come by focusing on yourself but self worth comes by focusing actually, on serving others God wired the universe in that only as you give your life away does your life have success of self worth and self awareness Finally, the fifth need that you have in your life is that you need to know your God-given mission And that gives you significance and satisfaction You’re not put on this planet by accident Now the way that this series is going to work, ’cause we’re gonna cover all five of those deep needs in your life, in the next five weeks The way this series is gonna work is that in my weekend teaching, I’m gonna primarily focus on why you have these five deep needs in your life and why you need a church family to meet them and why only the church can meet those needs Business can’t, government can’t, school can’t Boyfriend can’t, we’re gonna talk about the why on the weekend Then during the week in my daily two-minute videos I’m going to explain the how How God meets these deepest, emotional and spiritual needs in your life So you’re gonna need both parts to get the full picture You need my weekend teaching, gotta listen to that And you’re gonna need the daily, my daily two-minute spiritual vitamin, it’s a video that I’ll send to you through video and you can watch, or you can go to my Facebook page, Pastor Rick Warren each day and watch it there on the Facebook page but I’d be glad to send it directly to you Now today, I want you to see how you need other people in your life, you need a church family for spiritual health I know I’m belaboring this point because all the time we hear people say, oh I love God,

I love Jesus, I just don’t need a church family That’s nonsense It means you have no idea all of the gifts, the blessings and the benefits God has prepared for you when you’re fully involved in his family Now let me just say it this way Today all around the world people are taught to act as if they don’t need anybody else We’re told, do your own thing, go your own way, be your own man We idolize the rugged individualist who goes off by themselves on a mountain and seems to have no need of anybody else and we think man, they are , they’re totally independent and we idolize that independence In fact, in today’s culture, quote, depending on anybody else is often considered to be a weakness and you’re never supposed to let on that you need anybody else and people often characterize marriages like it’s a prison, limiting your options When actually, when God is at the center of your marriage, marriage is not limiting, it’s liberating It actually makes you twice as effective than you would be by yourself If you have a Godly God-centered marriage True love, healthy relationships, real community and genuine fellowship, they bring out the best in you In fact, you can’t become all God wants you to be without other people in your life You need them for your spiritual and emotional health and when you have those kind of close relationships in a church family, it makes you far, far better than you’d ever be on your own, by yourself The fellowship of belonging to a church family, the community like here at Saddleback Church has liberated and emancipated and brought out the best in literally tens of thousands of people Just in this church, Saddleback Church And by being a part of this family, it’s helped them become greater and go farther and accomplish more and be happier, and even live longer than people would’ve ever lived or experienced on their own Did you know that studies show that if you go to church you’re gonna live on an average about five to six years longer than other people? If you’re in church every weekend Now you know, I’ve heard people say, complete independence is the key to happiness Complete independence is happiness Well let me be completely honest with you, because after counseling thousands of people I can tell you this, that’s nonsense Complete independence from other human beings is not happiness, it is loneliness It is loneliness and the quickest way to make yourself completely miserable and resentful and fearful and insecure and unhappy is to pretend that you have it all together and you don’t need anybody else in your life and that you’re completely independent of needing anybody else’s help Not only is that idea a lie, it’s simply not true but it’s verifiably stupid It’s dumb, it’s provably absurd and everybody around you knows it’s not true And yet, we persist in wearing masks and pretending that we’re self-contained and that we’re not dependent upon each other Now you know what’s really ironic to me? I’m an observer of human behavior as a pastor I had to fly to Washington D.C. and back and we were at a couple airports, I just watched people and what’s ironic to me is to watch how we desperately want and need the attention of others, and the approval of others and the affirmation of others, and even the affection of others We desperately need and want these things We don’t just wanna admit how badly we need it That’s why everybody wears emotional masks Instead of being authentic with their true needs What we’ve been taught is that happiness comes from independence but the truth is real happiness comes from interdependence God wired us that way and he wants us to a part of his family In Genesis 2:18, the very first thing God said to man was this “It is not good for man to be alone.” Now whether you ever get married or not is irrelevant to that verse, it is not good for you to be alone God says you need a spiritual family And in another very important Bible verse God says it, Romans 12 verse five Since we’re all one body in Christ, we’re all in the family of God, we’re all in the body of Christ, we’re all a part of his flock we, but notice this We belong to each other Circle that word belong We belong to each other and each of us needs all the others In a church family, you don’t just belong to Jesus, you belong to each other You are my brother, you’re my sister, I’m your brother, I’m your sister and the Bible says we need each other Now you may not feel this is, feel this

You don’t necessarily feel like you need other people You may not feel like you belong but it is absolutely necessary God says, being a part of member of God’s family, a community of fellowship is not optional A Christian without a church family is a spiritual orphan You know, years ago many of you remember when we did 40 days of purpose About 35, 36,000 churches in just America alone did 40 days of purpose and in that series I shared the big idea that God created you to fulfill five purposes on Earth But in this series, I wanna share an even bigger idea and the bigger idea is this, you cannot fulfill God’s purposes for your life by yourself On your own, you need other people and each week, we’re gonna look at a different purpose and a different emotional and spiritual need that you have and how God wants to meet that need in your life Now what I wanna do today, for the rest of our time together is just quickly give you five reasons you need a church family for your spiritual and emotional health You cannot be healthy unless you’re connected to other believers in the body of Christ, in the family of God So write these down Number one, first thing I need is this I need others to walk with me I need others to walk with me That’s one of the benefits of a church family You know the Bible often calls your spiritual life your walk, your spiritual walk and the Bible says walk in love, walk in truth, walk in the lightness, walk in joy Colossians 2:6 and 7 says, just as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him Now why does God compare life to a walk, because it’s a journey So I said, we’re gonna walk in light and love and truth and obedience We’re to walk in the spirit, we’re to walk like Jesus God never intended for you to walk through life alone Now as I said, this has nothing to do whether you’re single or married Thousands of singles fully walk in the Lord in the community and the fellowship and the family and the membership of Saddleback Church You say, well what’s wrong with walking alone? I prefer walking alone Well, let me give you three benefits of walking with others in a church family You might just write this in your margin there or whatever Number one, it’s safer There’s safety in numbers, there’s less risk Have you ever had to walk through a dark alley at night by yourself when you would’ve preferred to have walked with somebody else When you’re going through dark times, it’s safer to walk with others Number two, it’s supportive It keeps you from giving up If you’ve ever done a marathon and you get a pain in your side and you’re tempted to quit, it kicks in for you you know, probably I don’t know, what mile maybe for me about you know, yard 50 But when you run with other people it keeps you going, it gives you support You know there’s an old African proverb that says, if you wanna run fast run alone But if you want to run far, run with other people When you run together you can go so much farther That’s why geese fly in V formation So they don’t get tired The updraft carries the others along and they change out who’s at the front of the V So it’s safer, it’s more supportive, it’s smarter You actually learn more by walking with others through life Proverbs 28:26 says this Only fools trust what they alone think You know, if you walk alone you might be walking in the wrong direction The Bible says, in the multitude of counselors there are safety One of the things you learn when you’re walking with other people is you learn how to get along You learn how to love and one of the great goals of life is learning how to love because God is love By the way have you noticed if you’ve ever walked with people, we have a thing called walk in worship at the Lake Forest campus of Saddleback Have you noticed that everybody walks at a different pace? And they all have to walk in a different style Well when you walk with others it teaches you a very important skill, it’s called compromise You just can’t go at your pace and style You have to share it with others As I said, Genesis 2:18 says, it’s not good for man to be alone, God hates loneliness What’s his antidote, well God’s antidote to loneliness is two groups, physical family and a spiritual family Physical family is an antidote for loneliness but even that’s not gonna last forever Family, physical families split up They grow up, they divorce, they move away, they die but your spiritual family which is the church is gonna last forever and ever and ever

Your physical family isn’t gonna last forever and ever but your church family is going to Hebrews 10:25 says this Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, instead let us encourage one another That’s the comfort and the correction or the challenging that I’ve talked about earlier The church is God’s spiritual safety net for you Now when you’re weak, when you’re tired, when you feel like giving up, you know, you’re created for community Have you ever said you know, well I don’t feel like going to worship? Well of course you have You know, I’ve thought that a lot myself and I was gonna do the sermon When you’re tried and you’d rather just stay home and lay on the couch all day But you know what I’ve discovered? Is that when I least feel like worship is when I usually need it the most But when I get with other people, my, all my discouragement and my fatigue and all the other things we’re gonna talk about, they start leaving and so does the loneliness I want you to write this down right now, somewhere on your outline Community is God’s answer to loneliness We all need a place to practice relationships and learn to love Community is God’s answer to loneliness So what you need to do to walk through life is you need a small group of believers 1 Corinthians 14:30 and 31, look at this verse It says, when you gather, each one of you He’s talking about gathering in a small group ‘Cause you can’t do this in a crowd of 500 or 200 people You can only do this as a small group He says 1 Corinthians 14:30-31 When you gather, in that small group, each one of you be prepared with something useful for all Sing a song, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight Take your turn with no one person taking over, that way you all learn from each other That could only happen in a small group Now what’s the goal, the goal of this fellowship is Ephesians 4:16, as each part does its work, it helps the other parts grow so that Christ’s whole body is healthy and growing and full of love I want you to write this down under this next point I can’t grow without others If I don’t have others I’m gonna be lonely but this is the second point, I can’t grow without others 1 Peter 4:9 says, open your homes to each other without complaining, that’s called hospitality Are you doing that? Are you being hospitable? Are you open your home up to a small group? If you’re not in a small group right now, you need to start one and I’ll help you, just get a couple of friends, discuss what you learn in this series and we’ll say well you know, I just haven’t started a small group, I’m not in a small group Well let me ask you, be honest What excuse have you been using for not being in a small group when you know it would be strengthening for your spiritual heart and your support What excuse have you been using? Well you know my house, my house is not clean Or my house isn’t big enough Or, I don’t like my neighbors Or nobody would wanna come to my house Really, you know what the truth is? The truth is everyone has a longing for belonging Everybody has a longing for belonging, it’s why the worst punishment you can give a person is put ’em in solitary confinement Man was not made to live alone Woman was not made to live alone And we have a longing for belonging, it’s one of the reasons why people wear logos They’re trying to identify where they wanna belong So first off I need a church family, I need others to walk with me Let me give you a second reason, I need others to work with me Not just to walk with me, but to work with me And did you know that God has a special work for you to do with your life? Here’s what the Bible says, Ephesians 2:10 God made us to do good works, look at that You say why am I alive? God made you to do good works which he planned in advance for us to live our lives doing Did you know that before you were born God planned the good works he wants you to do with your life? You can miss them You could miss your purpose in life It’s not automatic Remember, life on earth is to practice for eternity and one of the four things you’re gonna do in heaven is serve God In heaven, everybody’s gonna share the work so we’ll never get tired But on Earth, what happens is we try to do it all ourselves and it results in fatigue Now God tells us why we need to work together Look at this verse, Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two people are better than one, because they get more done what, read it with me, working together Two people are better than one, they get more done by working together So you need a church family to get the work that God has for your life done

God never meant for you to do it by yourself You know, one time a few years ago I was making a tour of the east coast and I spoke at West Point, the Army Academy, I spoke at the Navy Academy too but at West Point, it’s interesting, they have a system there, it so impressed me It feeds 4000 people Get this, in 15 minutes Say how in the world do you do that? How do you feed 4000 people in 15 minutes? Everybody has a role And I noticed that when they were doing this at West Point everybody had a role In fact, it was a roll with butter on it Never mind but God has called you to serve others and it’s in the context of a family, a church family Sometimes we think that the greatest Christians are out there all by themselves Do you know there’s myth about Mother Theresa that she was out there, serving on the streets of Calcutta all by herself No she wasn’t there, Kay went and served with Mother Theresa for a little bit, years ago and came back tell me that Mother Theresa has an army of sisters helping You need other people helping you fulfill the work that God has for your life And I say it like this, by myself I can’t do a lot and you can’t do a lot, but together we can Snowflakes are frail, by themselves they’re not very, they are not very strong but if enough snowflakes stick together, they can stop traffic and together we can make a difference With each person doing a little So, if you’re sitting, listening to me today and you say man I’m really tired I’m exhausted, it’s probably ’cause you’ve got nobody helping you and you’re missing one of the benefits of being in a small group and really totally connected to a church family You can attend and not really be connected I want you to write this down, under this point Community is God’s answer to fatigue Community is God’s answer to fatigue God didn’t mean to for you to do it on your own Do you ever watch the Amish build a barn in a day? I once saw a TV show about it, the entire community shows up and they all help and the Bible says in Galatians 6:10, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith So, I need a church family to walk with me and I need a church family to work with me so that I can do the work that God’s called me to do Number three, I need a church family, I need others to watch out for me Not just to walk with me, to work with me, I need them to watch out for me In other words, I need people in life, my life who will warn me of traps, who will defend me, who will protect me, who will help me stay on track And the Bible has a lot to say about this Philippians 2 verse 4 says this, look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own That’s a good thing, that’s what a family is all about And what a church family is all about You know, have you ever seen any of those Neighborhood Watch signs? Says you know, there’s a Neighborhood Watch in this area, that’s a sign of community Let me ask you this Have you ever left on vacation and before you left you asked a neighbor to watch your stuff? While you were gone, probably So, you’ve asked neighbors to watch your stuff Here, let me ask you another question Have you got anybody watching out for your soul? It’s far more important You may have a neighbor watching your stuff but who’s watching out for your soul? That’s part of the family of God We need other people watching out for us Why, ’cause we all have blind spots Some of us have bald spots but all of us have blind spots And there’s some things you just can’t see I mean, if I’ve got a bald spot back here in the back of my head, I can’t see that There’s some things that you need other people to tell you in your life When you have a tail light out, you can’t see it You need other people When you’re unzipped, you can’t see it When you have lettuce in your teeth, you can’t see it The Bible says in Hebrews 13 verse one Keep being concerned about each other as the Lord’s followers should Now, notice it says, keep being concerned Keep means you be vigilant, sorry vigilant and in a war, everybody takes turn on sentry duty Somebody’s gotta be vigilant watching out for the enemy You know, since 9/11 happened here in the United States we’ve had to be vigilant against terrorist and terror attacks and I just went through a couple airports this week where I had to get scanned ’cause they’re being vigilant for the enemy But did you know that you have an even greater enemy, far greater than the terrorist in the world and that enemy wants to mess you up, he wants to destroy your life, he’s plotting your downfall

every morning before you ever wake up, he’s thinking how to defeat you with temptations and trials and dead ends and detours See, Satan fights with an arsenal of habits, hurts and hangups and problems and much of the time we’re defeated why? Because we’re trying to fight him on our own, that’s dumb You need other people helping you resist temptation, that’s what Celebrate Recovery is all about That’s what so many of our programs are all about Ecclesiastes 4:12 says a person standing alone can be attacked and defeated but two can stand back to back and conquer And there are even, three are even better For a triple-braided cord is not easily broken You know, when I read that verse it makes me think about years ago, I walked across a prison yard in northern California with 2000 convicts, most of them there with life sentences Standing on that field and I was invited there to speak to them on that prison yard but you know what, I had no fear Why, why did I have no fear? Because 30 Christian inmates were walking with me on every side, in front, behind and either side Watching every move I wasn’t afraid at all Let me ask you a very personal question Is anybody protecting your backside? Who’s watching out for you spiritually? Nobody at works doing that, nobody at school’s doing that, nobody in the government, neighborhood’s doing that You need a church family You need a small group You know, as a lifeguard, I was lifeguard for three years I used to tell people, never go swimming by yourself in the ocean, you need to have a buddy, a partner, we’re better together Now I want you to write this down Community is God’s answer to defeat The church family, the family of God is the answer to defeat Ecclesiastes 4:10, if one person falls another can reach out and help But people who are alone when they fall, they’re in real trouble Let me give you a couple more Number four, I need people to first, I need people to walk with me and to watch over me and to work with me Number four, I need others to wait and weep with me I need other people in my life to wait with me when I’m going through a tough time and to weep with me and that’s what a church family’s all about To help me through the inevitable crises of life You say, well what are you talking about? Well, let me just give you a list of some situations that nobody should ever have to face alone In other words, nobody should ever have to face waiting in a hospital alone during a risky surgery Nobody should ever have to wait alone for a lab report or a pregnancy problem Nobody should have to wait alone for news from a battlefield from a son or a daughter or a father or mother Nobody should have to wait alone for a coroner while they’re identifying a body Nobody should have to wait alone standing in front of a fresh grave or the first night after your husband or your wife dies Or the first night after your husband or wife walks out I could go on and on but the fact is, things like this will happen in your life eventually And it’s foolish not to have your support network, your support, your safety net in place now Because at some point, you will have a life-shaking crisis None of us know what it is or how it’s gonna hit us but the time to prepare is now And what is God’s safety net? It’s a group of believers who are committed to you and you are committed to them Who’s committed to you right now? Could you rattle of a name of people who’d be there in an instant? Let me ask it another way, who could count on you that if they have crisis in their life, you would be there in an instant for them In 1 Peter 3:8, the first part of the verse says this You should be like one big family, full of sympathy toward each other And I’ve told you many times about how my personal small group has helped me through very difficult times and how we’ve traced all You know, we faced all kinds of trauma together 1 Corinthians 12:26 is God’s plan for a church family and it says it like this If one member suffers, all suffer together One of our members get cancer, we all oughta care about that Pray for ’em, support ’em You know, I remember awhile back, reading a newspaper article about a guy who laid dead in his bed for two years in his home and nobody noticed Friends, that is tragic Imagine despair, no one should ever die alone

I want you to write this down Community is God’s answer to despair God’s answer to despair, Romans 15, 12 verse 15, be happy with those who are happy and weep with those who weep That means, I need people who wait with me when I’m scared to death and who will watch with me and they’ll pray for me and they’ll weep with me You know, the truth is, we often don’t know how to handle fears And sometimes you’ll be in a small group and somebody starts crying and everybody feels a little awkward, why are you feeling awkward? Let me give you a little tip When you’re in a small group and somebody tears up, tears are always a sign that it’s time to stop and pray And probably just go over and give ’em a hug or put a hand on their hand and squeeze their hand You don’t have to fix people’s problems But you do have to be there You have the ministry of presence, sometimes you just need to sit in silence with ’em and weep with them, the Bible says weep for those who weep 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says you know, you gotta be flexible It says this, encourage each other and strengthen one another Well, let me ask you a very personal question Who do you need to encourage today? Can you think of somebody who might need your encouragement right now? Hmm, finally, let me give you one more reason why you need the support of a Christian spiritual, church family in order for spiritual health I need ’em to walk with me, I need ’em to work with me, I need ’em to watch and wait with me, okay I need ’em to just be with me in all the things of life But then number five, I need others to witness with me Did you know that God says, I expect you to tell other people about what I’ve done for you? Did you know that God expects you to fulfill a mission in the world and share your life message, the story of your life with others? Well God doesn’t expect you to do it by yourself He says, I need other people to witness with me and there’s great power in group witness It’s very impressive When people come to Saddleback Church, any of our campuses and they walk in and they see people worshiping together, that’s a witness but do you know what the greatest witness of your life is to unbelievers? Loving each other, loving each other The Bible says, see how they love one another The Bible says, that that is the essence of our highest witness What impresses a community the most is our love for each other John 13:35 Jesus said it this way “Your love for one another will prove to the world “that you are my disciples.” If you don’t love other members of a church, where are you proving to the world that you’re his disciple? This is our goal, this is our goal for this entire series that your love for each other will prove to the world that you’re my disciples That is our goal The one thing that proves to the world that you’re a follower of Jesus Christ It’s not our buildings, it’s not our bumper stickers, it’s not our programs, it’s our love for each other and in this series, this 48 days together I want you to start a revolution of love in your community, at your office, at your workplace, at school, in your neighborhood 1 Timothy 1, 2 Timothy 1:7 says this The Holy Spirit doesn’t want you to be afraid of people, but he wants you, wants you to be wise and strong and to love, love them and enjoy being with them That is one of the reasons why God needs us to be in a family So that other people could help us in sharing the good news You know, I’ve often asked you, is anybody gonna be in heaven because of you? So I’m asking it again today Is anybody gonna be in heaven because of you? I wanna help you And I wanna help you by saying you don’t have to do this on your own, let’s reach your friends, your neighbors, your family members, your relatives Let’s reach the people in your circle and your part of the world together I want you to write this down God’s answer to fear is community See, you lose your fear when you realize God is near and other people with you, you’re just not as much afraid You know what? I want people to be able to say about this church, Saddleback and I want God to be able to say it about other churches too that what they, I want God to be able to say about us and other people say about us what was said about the church in Philippi Which was a little city in Greece and in Philippians chapter one, verse 27 Paul says this about that congregation

He says, you are working together, that’s the family of God and you’re struggling side by side to get others to believe the good news I want that to be said about Saddleback Church That we’re working together, struggling side by side to get others to believe the good news And here’s the bottom line so let me sum it all up for this weekend, we need each other You need other believers in a church family and in a small group and you need them to walk with you, especially through troubles and trials, you need them to work with you as you develop your gifts, your spiritual gifts and your shape You need ’em to watch out for you and the traps and the troubles all around You need them to weep with you when you have losses and you need them to witness with you As together we make a front to the world to say, we are not ashamed to say we love Jesus Christ Now I’m gonna ask you to say something aloud, in all 20 campuses, you think I can’t hear you but I can okay I want you to say this loud, so everybody say it I, okay some of you did not say it I see you on the fourth row okay I see ya and I hear ya Say I, okay everybody I, okay and then repeat this word Really, say it, really – Really – Really, really Really, really need a small group Need a small group You know what that is? You just made the declaration of interdependence That’s the declaration of interdependence I really, really, really really, really need a small group During this series, we’re gonna learn how to meet the deepest emotional, spiritual needs of each other and we’re also gonna learn how to have our needs met at the same time Now I’ve got some homework for you this week Remember last week I asked you to go pick up a copy of the book, Purpose Driven Church The old cover looks like this, the new cover looks like this If you’ve ever been to a Class 101 and hundreds of people went to Class 101 last week in all of our campuses, if you’ve never been to 101, you don’t have a copy, you were given one for free, if you took Class 101 but in this book, I want you to read chapters, oh I think it’s about three to chapter eight okay Chapter three to chapter eight alright I think the last week you read chapter one and two If not, you can catch up, they’re not long chapters Read chapter three to chapter eight okay Second, you’re gonna watch the seven daily devotionals that I give you through video and then number three, you need to get a couple people and form a small group during this seven week series and I’ve got a little packet here It’s called the Saddleback Small Groups Starter Kit If you’ve never been in a small group, what you need to wanna do is go out to your Connection Center at your campus, wherever campus you attend and pick up the Small Group Starter Kit If you’re watching online, we can help you start a new group online Just fill out your online connection form and then we’ll get that information to you and we could send you the discussion group questions every week So there’s the reading of the chapters in the book, there’s the small group and then there’s the weekend messages Do you know last week over 500 people stepped up to start new small groups where they live? We have well over 8000 small groups in this church and we have small groups all over America and even all around the world You can do this Just sign up and get a Small Group Starter Kit, we’ll send it to you Now let me pray for you as we close Father, it is time for the church to really be the church Not the kind of church that everybody’s heard about The boring kind, the kind that doesn’t meet their needs, that doesn’t fulfill the purposes of God Father it’s time for the church to have a revolution of love and fellowship, community as we are members of the body of Christ together We’re brothers and sisters in the family of God Please begin this in our hearts today With all my heart Lord I believe that our church and all of our campuses and many, many other churches will start fulfilling God’s purposes together that when we do that, we’ll see a new revelation and a new revitalization and a new revival, not just in our church, and in other churches, but a spiritual awakening in our nations and in the world Now you pray, would you pray? Say something like this Dear God forgive me for all the times that I felt that I didn’t need other people in my life Or didn’t even need your family, the church God I wanna be a part of what you’re doing on Earth through your family I wanna experience real community and fellowship

in my church I’m tired of superficial relationships, I wanna learn to love and be loved in a deeper way I open up my life to you Jesus Thank you for bringing me to this church family Thank you for a place to belong, a place to grow, a place to fellowship, to serve, to share to worship God I don’t wanna be a passive follower or a passive attender anymore I commit to getting into a small group so I can learn about real community and please bless our church family as we learn and grow together in the next 48 days in Jesus’ name, amen – Thanks for checking out this message on YouTube My name is Jay and I’m Saddleback’s online pastor I want to invite you to take your next step by checking our our online community or help get you connected to a local Saddleback campus Three things we have to offer you right now First, learn more about belonging to our church family by taking Class 101 Second, don’t live life alone and get into community with others by joining an online small group or a local home group in your area Third, join our Facebook group to be more engaged with our online community throughout the week Take your next step and learn where a local campus is near you by visiting saddleback.com/online or email online@saddleback.com Hope to hear from you soon