by Melissa Hoyt
As high school sweethearts who became parents and got married as young adults, Steve and Stacy’s life was changed by someone who cared enough to answer a few probing questions.
With little context for faith and no interest in “religion”, Steve had no idea what God had planned when he met Chad in college. Sharing classes in the same degree program, their friendship grew and Chad invited Steve to various activities with his Christian friends. After being hired by the same company post-graduation, Steve began to ask Chad questions about “religion”. Chad was always willing to engage in discussion and gave Steve a New Testament to read.
Through reading Matthew, Steve became aware of his need for Jesus. Seeing God’s transforming work in Steve’s life, Stacy followed shortly after with her commitment to Jesus. Chad and his wife (Julie) then invited the Duffy’s to join their small group and meet weekly to learn more about Jesus.
Steve shares, “The start of our Christian journey was marked by someone sharing the gospel with us, through words, actions, and by giving us a Bible for us to
investigate ourselves. We were discipled by faithful
followers of Jesus, namely through the demonstration of an authentic small group community to do life together.
As a result of our growth in Christ, we wanted to share this blessing with others. Over the years we have had the privilege of being involved in the lives of many within
various small groups.
We have been mutually encouraged to be in God’s word daily, reliant on prayer for one another, encouraging and challenging one another, and rejoicing together in the highs and journeying together through the trials.”
One of the biggest changes in their lives and something God continues to teach them is how much they need to rely on Him in all aspects of their life.
“I am realizing year by year how much more of God’s refining work is needed in my life,” notes Steve. “With my battle with pride, my prayer frequently is to plead with God to humble me. He is faithful to answer that! I am frequently humbled through the tests/trials in my life and in the lives of those I have the privilege to journey with. Through this process, when I yield to it, God reveals more of Himself in me to this lost and broken world.”
Stacy agrees. “I continually realize that I am in as much of need of His grace applied to my daily life as the day I committed my life to Christ. I see appropriating the
gospel in my daily life as critical in order for me to extend that to others.”
When asked what impact LIFE Groups have had on their lives, Steve and Stacy say,
“As noted in Romans 12, Paul urges us to rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn. This, as well as any of the New Testament “one another” commands, is impossible to do in isolation of others or living superficially with others. It is essential to have smaller communities of God’s people that can know you (and you know them) at a level in which these words can truly be lived out.
It is a sweet thing to live imperfectly with one another with Jesus at the center of that which unifies us.”
Are you in a LIFE Group? Start living life together and experiencing the blessing of community. Learn more about LIFE Groups HERE.