April 8, 2024

Connecting Through Confession of Sin

Written by: Joe Sherrieb, Life Group Director

Recently, I visited a Life Group and was so encouraged by how close each member of the group was to one another. Almost immediately, I knew this group was set apart. There was just something about this group that drew me in, but I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it. There was laughing, mourning, care and compassion, service, and a deep trust in one another. As time went on, I began to notice the thing that made them stand out more than anything else… their confession of sin to one another. I was reminded that when we are a part of a small community of believers who exhibit vulnerability and transparency, specifically in opening up about sin in our lives, our relationship with that community is more authentic, and feeds into the growth of that fellowship.

There is an element of trust that begins to develop through being vulnerable with each other, confessing to one another the sins that keep us from experiencing the kind of fellowship we desire with God. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially in revealing our sin, we unlock a deeper, more intimate relationship with those people, and we invite them to pray for us in order that we may be healed (James 5:16). True fellowship of the saints includes not only delighting in God’s promises together over a meal and recreational activities, but also opening up about the things we struggle with. Not only are we built up by one another in Christ through confessing our sin, but we can also begin to develop the kind of trust that brings forth deep friendships.

Some may wonder what comes first… trust or confession. But I believe they work together simultaneously. Trust brings forth confession, and confession brings forth trust, as long as confidentiality, respect and genuine care is practiced. What steps can you take to open up about the sin in your life to those in your Life Group? And how can you take the lead in creating this type of culture in your group?

A few helpful tips:

Someone once said, “Be unshockable.” When someone is confessing their sin, don’t collapse in shock. When you know your own heart well enough and understand your own depravity, it’s hard to be surprised by someone else’s.

Be reciprocal. If someone is confessing their sin to you regularly and you never reciprocate transparency with them, they will begin to wonder if you’re the right person to share their struggles with.

Be a good listener. If you want to invite others’ honesty and vulnerability, learn to listen well and ask questions to show them you care and to help give them counsel. 

Lastly, be a friend. Kindle a true and authentic relationship with others in order to help build trust with one another. The more time you spend investing in and finding joy in each other, the more transparent you will become.  

Whether you are a leader or a member of a Life Group, consider how you might take the lead in adopting a transparent and trusting culture within your group. If you are not yet plugged into a Life Group and experiencing supernatural fellowship and discipleship with a smaller community of believers, please fill out the Life Group Request Form. Our Life Group team would love to get you connected!