In this series, we’re looking at six essential practices for a life-giving small group: remembering, listening, blessing, celebrating, mourning, and resting.
Human beings were created to celebrate. It’s in our DNA.
We celebrate birthdays with cake, ice cream, and gifts. We celebrate wedding anniversaries with roses and chocolates. We celebrate national holidays by taking off from work and lighting explosives. Our world loves to celebrate, because we are hard-wired to celebrate.
If there’s one thing Christians should be able to do, it’s celebrate! We should be celebration experts.
We were once enemies of God, doomed to eternal death. But God, because of the great love He has for us, saved us through the cross of Jesus! In Christ, we get to enjoy life with God and His people forever. Now that’s something worth celebrating!
As a result, our church services and our group meetings should often feel like a party! We celebrate Christmas and Easter, of course, but we also can celebrate one another on a regular basis. Our community groups give us a weekly opportunity to celebrate the work of God in our lives. Our groups also give us the perfect place to celebrate one another.
- Celebrate your kids’ first day of school with cupcakes.
- Celebrate promotions at work and wedding anniversaries.
- Show pictures and tell stories from your family vacations.
- Celebrate sporting events by watching and cheering together.
- Celebrate good weather by getting out of your house and meeting at a beautiful park.
Some of my group leaders will ask, “But won’t that take too much time away from valuable group time?” No way! If your celebration takes up your whole evening, you’re on the right track! (Has anyone really complained about celebrating too much?)
Think about your own small group: Who can you celebrate? What events or transitions can you celebrate? What neighborhood parties or cultural events can you join in to celebrate with your neighbors?
Read Part 5: Mourning.
Jeremy Linneman is pastor of community life at Sojourn Community Church, a diverse family of four interdependent congregations in Louisville, Kentucky. A graduate of the University of Missouri and Southern Seminary, he is the founder/director of Fidelity Coaching, a leadership development group, and an occasional writer for The Gospel Coalition and other sites. He and his wife, Jessie, have three sons.