It is so easy to opt for a Christian life which attends Church on a Sunday morning. It is also an easier Christian life. What isn’t so easy is being part of a small group of Christians who become like family where they help one another live out the best Christian life they can. That may sound attractive but it does take commitment and vulnerability.
Who is walking with you?
“Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the other brothers and sisters with them.” (Romans 16 v 14)
The way this is phrased could indicate that this was some kind of house church set under the umbrella of the Church in Rome.
The Apostle hasn’t given any instruction that the Church should be divided up into groups that meet in houses or discipleship groups or missional communities but he simply recognises them.
In places of the world it is vital for the growth of the kingdom for smaller groups to meet together. Any large gathering would attract the attacks from people of other faiths and any church building erected would soon be burnt down. Perhaps this is the case in Rome. Also with Paul keen to establish unity amongst the churches then this would make sense that in effect he is speaking to the many smaller church communities scattered across the city to recognise one another in love.
However the benefits of doing life with a smaller group of people (whatever word you use to describe them) is essential for discipleship, accountability, friendship, support and mission. These 5 names plus the others known as ‘brothers and sisters’ are doing this kind of life together. Paul knows them and he knows their group.
Who is in your group?