Article by Michael Goforth II
This summer, a group in our church is reading through In His Image by Jen Wilkin and then meeting to discuss our findings. Here are three reasons we started the group:
To Grow in Grace
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
First and foremost this group is about helping us grow in our walks with the Lord. We specifically chose a book that will help us do that.
To Create Community
"And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:46–47
When Christianity first got started, it was so much more than a weekly event. The early church was a genuine community centered around the gospel. They were committed to helping one another live out their callings as Christians.
However, community like that can’t be manufactured. So the more opportunities we can create that will help towards that end, the better.
To Develop an Appetite for Reading
Most of us don't naturally like to read. The moment high school or college ends, we celebrate at the thought of never opening a book again.
Tony Reinke puts it this way, "For most, reading a book is like trying to drink down a huge vitamin. You know you need to read—you’ll be healthier for it—but everything within you refuses to swallow!"
However, as Christians, we are people of the Word. God chose to speak to us and transform us, through a book. So if we never learn to love reading, we’ll never experience the joy of one of God’s primary method of transformation in our lives.
To quote Tony Reinke again, “As Christians living in an image-saturated world, we must guard our conviction about the vital importance of words and language. For it is words and language that best communicate meaning. In a world so easily satisfied with images, it’s too easy to waste our lives watching mindless television and squandering our free time away with entertainment. We have a higher calling. God has called us to live our lives by faith and not by sight—and this can mean nothing less than committing our lives to the pursuit of language, revelation, and great books.”
A group like this is a great way to develop the discipline and delight of reading.