Humility in Community

September 15, 2019

David Sorn

One of the biggest hindrances to us going deeper into community is our lack of humility. Find out how humility can help you take 3 steps deeper into community.

Humility in Community

September 15, 2019

David Sorn

One of the biggest hindrances to us going deeper into community is our lack of humility. Find out how humility can help you take 3 steps deeper into community.


(Family Fun Day slide)

Let me speak very plainly to you before we begin the message today.

I know sometimes when we talk about our outreaches we say, “Food, fun, inflatables, bring someone to hear about Jesus!!!”

But sometimes we can get so used to hearing that, that we forget what’s really going to happen.

Next Sunday, I am going to very plainly lay out the Gospel.

And I’m going to explain how one can be saved.

How they can have their sins forgiven by the Son of God, Jesus

And how they can cross over from death, and life destined for hell…to life…a life destined to be with God forever.

And plenty of people will respond.

They will stand up, in faith, for the first time, The Holy Spirit will come into them, and make them come alive.

That great miracle is going to happen in this very room…7 days from now…perhaps dozens of times over.

So knowing that, I want to ask you: “Who do you know that needs to be saved?

Would you trust in God that he might use you to bring someone to hear that next week?

Trust Him. Be bold.

And for many of you, He’s going to honor your boldness next week in a way that you will never forget!

All right, let’s get started.


(The chief virtue series slide)

How many good friends would you say you have?

If all of a sudden life hit you really hard…and you needed a friend to come over to your place…right away…

Maybe to watch your kids in a bind.

Or to just be with you as you cried in a tragedy.

Or to just listen to you…

Who would you call?

And, don’t think of a family member, a friend…

Who would you call?

For many Americans, their minds are blank.

This is a MAJOR downside of American culture right now.

And for much of the world…it’s not a downside.

In many Asian, African, and Latin American cultures, the value of community is paramount.

But that’s not true in America…at least if your family has been here for a generation or two

Americans focus on individualistic qualities such as:

Being unique.

And being able to accomplish things on our own

The last thing many of us ever want…is to have to be dependent on someone else.

And that’s just for starters.

The challenge is…we’ve added, on top of our rugged individualism, things like suburbanization.

I grew up in a small town, where I could walk the streets and tell you who lived in many of the houses.

Most of the people who lived in town…also worked in that same town.

My dad was a high school teacher in town.

My mom was the librarian in town.

But here in the Suburbs…people rarely work in the same town that they live in

We drive out of town, come home, shut the garage, and walk into our houses…unknown to the neighbors around us.

It’s not a community.

We haven’t just added suburbanization to our individualism, but technology has also vastly changed things.

We have more entertainment at our disposal then the Kings & Queens of the 1700’s could ever dream of…

And we often choose entertainment over friends.

Even scarier, technology gives us the illusion that we’re still making connections with people…

You know what everyone’s up to thanks to social media…

And it feels like you’re connected with your old friends and family, because you’re on one of those annoying group text chats that pings you 15 times a day.

But, plenty has been written on how digital connections don’t bring even remotely the same benefits as face-to-face connections.

I could go for another 60 minutes on the reasons why Americans don’t have very many close friends anymore, but I’m pretty sure you don’t need me to…because you know it…

Many of you know this very personally.

You know what it’s like to feel lonely and alone.


And I want to tell you today that God doesn’t want you to feel alone.

Not only does He want you to grow in your relationship with Him, but He greatly desires that you grow in your friendships with other people seeking Him.

Much of the New Testament presupposes the importance of community

There are 59 “one another” commands in the New Testament.

Be patient with one another

Confess yours sins to one another

Serve one another

Help one another. Encourage one another.

But you can’t fulfill any of those commands, if you’re alone.

If you’re not in Biblical community.

In fact, you can’t develop into who Jesus wants you to be…if you’re not getting together with other Christians who actually KNOW you.

I know much of the modern church is heading in a different direction, but listen to me:

Christianity cannot become this thing where Christians only consume worship services at home in their pajamas ALONE, read their Bible app ALONE, and when they need spiritual advice, they google it…ALONE

That would all be very modern of you…but you’d be missing out on about half of what the New Testament is asking of you...and has for you!

Biblical Christianity is meant to happen in community.

So why is it that SO many American Christians aren’t in any sort of Biblical community??

For a lot of us, it comes down to a virtue that we’re lacking…the virtue of humility.

Or spun the other way, the sin of pride.

We’re in a series right now, called “The Chief Virtue,” where we’re talking about how humility is the chief virtue, the gateway virtue, that leads to so many other good things in your life.

And this morning, I want to submit to you that humility will lead you to a deeper community.

Paul in his letter to the Ephesians says it this way:

(Ephesians 4:2-3) – NIV - KEEP UP UNTIL NExT SLIDE

2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Do you know what He’s saying?

So many people don’t have close friends.

And why is that?

One of the main reasons is because we can’t do what Paul is asking.

We can’t keep unity, or peace..

We can’t bear or endure the mistakes of people who have hurt us.

We don’t have the patience to be their friend through their faults…

So we, right now, have decided (whether outwardly) or subconsciously…it would be easier to not have close friends.

Or for many, the script is flipped.

We’re worried that if people really knew us, they would never be patient enough to endure us as a friend…

So we don’t have any.

But if, as Paul says, we would be HUMBLE…

And we would know that we are a sinner, and so are they, and God loves us both…

We could be in community.

In fact, what I want to do this morning is show you how humility will allow you to take 3 deeper steps into community.

These things are going to build upon each other.

So some of you might not have done step 1 yet…some of you might be stuck at step 2, and so on and so forth…


Step 1: Humility enables you to enter community

For many American Christians, it’s our pride that keeps us from stepping out of isolation and into Christian community in the first place.

This is what Paul was talking about in Ephesians.

So…while there are many Americans who say they follow Christ

Many who attend a church service on Sundays

But as far as the 59 “one another” commands…

As far as being the body of Christ, and building one another up…and helping each other grow spiritually… (because what happens here on Sundays is just a small FRACTION of what “church” is)

So many American Christians have gotten to “step 1” of community yet.

Our pride keeps us from being in community by lying to us.

Our pride says, “You don’t need to actually get to know these other people sitting around you right now. You just come to this service for YOU.”

Our pride says, “Don’t you dare be a part of a group where you start studying God’s Word and applying it to your life!”

“If you did that…you’d have to start talking about your life! You know what sinner and mess you are”

Our pride says, “Don’t get in community…you don’t need other people!”

Our pride says: “You’re too busy. Think of all of the important things you do and how full your schedule is…”

As if we have more important things to do than live out God’s commands and build up the body of Christ.

Pride will keep you out of Christian community, but humility will enable you to join it.

Before I go any further, I realize that, because so many of you are new, you might not know exactly how we do “Christian Community” here…through our House Groups (which start in just 1 week!)

I think our video can actually explain it far better than I can, so let me just pause for one minute, and show you what they are like:

(Play House Group video)

House Groups are perhaps THE thing that makes this church SO unique…

An astounding 80% or our adults are in a house group…they’re that good. ☺

Beyond what you saw in the video, there are a few other things that make our House Groups quite unique.

They are groups of around 20-30 people that meet weekly.

Which allows you to have a “community of people around you,” and a greater chance to really make some deep connections with a few people you really connect with.

The groups are intergenerational.

Meaning you’ll most likely be able to learn from someone much older than you and be inspired by someone much younger than you.

We have 9 different House Groups on 5 different nights (Sunday – Thursday)

Including a BRAND-NEW House Group on Monday nights…with Tony Wesp

Our hope is that every single adult who calls Renovation Church their home…finds a House Group where they can find a community who’s going to support them & encourage them in their faith.

Grab the card that was on top of your chair right now.

Look over the options.

And let go of that pride that is keeping you in insolation.

There are so many benefits to being in community.

And if you can, in humility, put yourself in a Christian community like this…

You will grow.

Do you remember all of those 59 “one another commands” (encourage, support, help)…that’ll be done for you too.

If you’re stuck on step 1, there were a number of people last year at this church, who were in your exact same position.

But they made the leap of faith to jump into the type of Christian Community God describes in the Bible.

And I know a few of the people that then last year had major health complications this past year.

But now, they had a group to rally around them, pray for them, bring them meals when they needed help, and encourage them through the hard times.

Who doesn’t want that in their life?

I can think of others who signed up for the 1st time last year, and then this past year, their marriage began falling apart.

Yet, both of them now had people who would take them out for coffee…and listen to their struggles.

Offer advice…and pray for them.

And now, through the help of community…their marriage is thriving again.

Who doesn’t want that??

But it takes humility to get into community.


It not only takes humility to get yourself into Christian community…but it takes humility to thrive in Christian community as well.

And this brings us to step 2.

I’m now talking to all of you who are already in a House Group, as close to 350 of you will be this year.

And by the way, this is just as applicable to those of you that are in middle school & high school as well

Just insert Youth Group instead of House Group.


Step 1: Humility enables you to enter community

Step 2: Humility enables you to ask for help

There are plenty of you…that have been going to a House Group for a year…or two…or more

But your pride is getting in the way of you going deeper in community.

Your small group leader asks great questions…but you don’t want to let people know you’re struggling.

So you share, but you don’t really share…or you share about someone else close to you who’s hurting.

Your depression may be taking a hold on you…and your thoughts are getting darker by the day, but when people ask you how you are at House Groups, you brush it off and say, “Oh, you know, good.”

It takes humility to ask for help.

To remember that you’re not in a small group of perfect people…but a small group of sinners…

Pride is an incredible obstacle to depth in community.

For many of you, my prayer for you this year, is that you would humble yourself in your small group.

And you would let your group see the real you.

If you come humbly to them, and ask for help, you’ll get it.

One of my most vivid memories of all my years of House Groups came when I was visiting a House Group once that I’m not personally in…

There was a person in that group who had really wandered from Christ.

And yet, he had surprisingly come back to house groups that night.

He left right after it ended, so I went outside after him to talk to him…and it was pouring rain.

I was walking through the line of cars, looking for him in each car, but he was already gone

There were several other men who had come outside…including the House Leader…the elder of the house.

As I stood there with, 6 or 7 guys…who were also disappointed that he had left already…and were sad about what was happening in his life

…the elder of the house, looked at his men, and he passionately said, “It’s hard to help people when their house is already burning down!”

And then he looked at them, and said, “Guys, Don’t wait! We talk about our lives every week! Don’t wait until everything is on fire!”

“humble yourself enough to ask for help. No one in this group is perfect. Far from it! No one’s going to be surprised by your issues. We all have them. Let’s help each other!”

Humble yourself, be honest, and ask for help this year.


But it not only takes humility to ask for help, it takes humility to receive help…and direction.

And that’s step 3:


Step 1: Humility enables you to enter community

Step 2: Humility enables you to ask for help

Step 3: Humility enables you to receive help

The disciple / Apostle Peter gives us these instructions:

(1 Peter 5:5-6) – NIV

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud

but shows favor to the humble.”

In the context of 1 Peter chapter 5 here, he’s not talking about elders…in an age sense, but rather spiritual elders…your spiritual leaders.

In our context, the elders of our church, the ones who are responsible for the spiritual oversight and care of our flocks…are our House Leaders.

Now, we have a Church Board…but that’s different.

The board oversees me, sign important documents, create policies, do governance, that kind of stuff.

But our spiritual elders…the ones who look out for you, guide you, and care for you…those are our House Leaders.

And Peter says, in God’s Word, that we are to submit ourselves to our spiritual elders.

And then he quickly adds, because he knows this is going to be important if people are actually going to do what he says, and submit themselves to their spiritual elders…

Peter says: “Clothe yourself with humility toward one another…God opposes the proud…but shows favor to the humble”

This verse is SO important for us, as Americans, in present day

Because it’s not our forte.

When someone looks at our life and gently tells us that we are going off course…

You know what our reaction is almost 100% of the time?

“You’re wrong!”

“Who are you to tell me how to live my life?!”

“Where do you get off talking to me about my life? You’re not perfect either!”

“You’re shaming. You’re not showing grace. God loves & accepts me for who I am.”

These are all defense mechanisms of the prideful individualist.

I read through the Book of Proverbs in August, and one of the things that jumped out at me was, that it felt like every single chapter has a verse that basically looks like this one:

(Proverbs 15:32) – NIV

Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,

but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.

But in our American culture, we have almost no ability to heed correction.

Because we were raised in this postmodern culture where, well, we are RIGHT all the time and free to make our own choices…so in that type of culture, the idea of correction is almost pointless

And yet, that sort of thinking runs completely contrary to Scripture

Yes, Christians, God has forgiven you…and accepted you as you were.

But just because He accepted you, doesn’t mean He wants you to stay that way.

God has given us His commands, so that we could, not only find life for ourselves, but also glorify Him by how we live!

And God has given us leaders in our lives who are there to encourage us to glorify God with our lives.

Think about this when you read the New Testament letters.

A significant portion of Paul’s letters show Paul instructing leaders like Timothy and Titus on how to use Scripture to shepherd their people:

For example:

(2 Timothy 3:16) – NIV

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Paul is expecting Timothy to use the Word of God to help the believers to stay on track and follow God.

And I think this is a major growing point for our church.

And not really just our church specifically, but really any American church.

But here at Renovation Church, we’ve spent the last 9.5 years, appointing spiritual elders (our House Leaders) that we really believe in

A ton of thought, and examination, and prayer has gone into appointing these leaders.

And trust me when I say this to you…

They are there to watch over you.

There are 500+ people here today…well over 600 people call this church home.

I can’t watch over 600 people.

That’s ridiculous.

I’d be dead in about a month if I tried.

But our elders can watch over 30…

And they do.

I’ve seen them labor in prayer over their flock of 30.

I’ve seen them fast for their people who are struggling

I’ve seen wolves come at their people…and seen them step in front of the sheep to protect them.

I’ve seen them rush to the hospital to be with their people in illness & tragedy

I’ve seen them sit down and just cry with their people in the hard times

And I’ve seen them look at the lives of some of their sheep…and because they care so deeply for them…

I’ve seen them sit down and tell them (with tears), “My friend…I see you wandering from the flock. And most importantly, I see you wandering from the chief shepherd, Jesus. Come back!”

And it’s there (right there in step 3), , on this topic of RECEIVING help and direction…that our pride gets in the way of us really thriving in community.

That kind of a conversation would be commonplace in collectivist society in Asia, Africa, or Latin America…where authority is King.

In those sorts of societies, people grow up hearing talks like that all the time from all kinds of authority figures in their lives (parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, neighbors, basically anyone older them then can grab them by the ear…)

But in America, the capital of Individualism…we are infantile in our ability to heed correction…. our immense pride has gotten in the way.

We want the benefits of friendship and community, but without any of the accountability. (2x)

But life doesn’t work like that.

And the church body certainly doesn’t work like that.

If I start drifting away from Jesus someday, those who are in spiritual authority over me…better…sit me down (and I KNOW that they will)…

…and say, “David, because we care about your spiritual soul more than anything…we have to let you know…you’re drifting”

And my prayer is that you would look at your Elder… and even your small group leader…(who also prays for you and serves you)…my prayer is you would see them this year as a shepherd who is looking out for you.

Like someone who has been spiritually appointed to watch over you.

And in humility, I pray that you would trust the words they speak into your life.

Those words are how we thrive.

(TELL RANDY DISCHER “That doesn’t have to be you” STORY)


I gotta tell you…that’s been my prayer for a long time now.

I want to run my race…and I want to finish it well.

Even if everyone else fails around me.

It doesn’t have to be me!

And as hard as it is to hear from them sometimes, I’m SO SO grateful for spiritual authorities in my life…who’ve spoken into it and challenged me to run harder after Christ.

Humble yourself.

Let someone speak into your life.

Wherever you may be today on those steps towards deeper community, I pray that you would let go of your pride…and humble yourself.

And take a step deeper into the richness of God’s community.

Let me pray for that.

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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