Dear Christ Church,
This Thursday I went to my small group and my life was not changed. I have been going to small groups for over 18 years. Most of those small groups met bi weekly, so you figured 104 meetings a year over 18 years equals 1,872 small group meetings (not factoring in vacations and hospital stays…) That’s a lot of meetings. I don’t know if I can remember much of what happened at any one of them. So why do I go? Why have I invested 5,616 hours of my life into gathering with people in small groups to pray and study the Bible together?
In our culture of fast food, microwaves, snapchat, and instant gratification it is very easy to forget that the best things in life rarely happen quickly. You might be able to heat up some chicken tenders in under a minute in the microwave, but that is nothing compared to smoking a whole chicken for over 24 hours until the meat is literally falling off the bone. Ok, now I’m hungry… But the point is that the best things often happen over long periods of time. While I can’t remember any one small group meeting that changed my life, I do know that I would not be the person I am today apart from being part of all those small group meetings over the years.
The Bible teaches that the more we experience deep relationships with other Christians, the deeper our relationship with God will become. (1 John 1:1-7) God himself is a being in community and He created us in his image to thrive as people in community. There is just no way to microwave community. Relationships are built over time as we spend time with one another. Obviously this happens through our worship service. However, in that larger gathering it is hard to really develop relationships in the same way that we can at a small group.
I know it can be hard to make the time for small groups in the midst of the busyness of life. I know that sometimes they don’t meet us “right where we are.” I know that for new people it can be intimidating to go, because you don’t know anyone that well yet. But as someone who has a lot of experience with small groups, I’d encourage you to make this investment. Most of the time one small group meeting is not going to change your life. But I guarantee you that over time being part of a small group will bring deep and lasting change to your life.
Usually I use our Story Saturday blog post to write about something that God has done in our midst. This is about what I believe God is doing in our midst. As we faithfully give ourselves to small group ministry, there is much material for “Story Saturday” being written and I look forward to telling those stories!
See you soon!
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