This is my last post about “small groups for Jesus”, at least for the time being. I just have a few more comments to make.
1] In my opinion, small groups are like family; they’re not about enforcing rules, and everybody being disciplined; they’re about letting God’s love flow through you into other people. You may not believe this, but I’m convinced that almost every single person is acutely aware of their short-comings, and what they really need, on a regular basis, is encouragement and moral support. (I find a lot of support for this attitude throughout the Bible; call it grace and mercy) Small groups are, and should be, about sharing and expressing the fruits of the Spirit; and while self-control is one of the fruits and is therefore important to God and should be important to us; it is the very last thing on the list. Wonder why that is? (I don’t even know if there IS a hierarchy of the fruits, but I hear a lot more about love in the Bible than I do about self-control.)
2] One of the central, indispensible ingredients of a small group is trust. Continue reading →
There are a lot of “small” groups in the world, where people get together on a regular basis. I’ve been a member of a number of them, such as a foursome for playing golf every week. You get to know the guys. You enjoy their company. You tell jokes. You catch up on what’s happening in their world, how they’re getting along with their wives and their kids, their bosses and their employees. In a lot of cases you are closer to them than some members of their own families. And you have the benefit of a little fresh air and a little exercise. (very little) Maybe you have a beer in the 19th hole.
My mother had a long-standing relationship with a bunch of girls she formerly taught school with. They’d get together and play bridge every week. None of them were championship bridge players, but that wasn’t the point. The reason they got together was to share their lives with each other. When they were down they could call each other on the phone and get a little encouragement. When they were up they could have a special meeting to celebrate. You know it’s a great thing to have a husband and some kids to share your life with, but the girls in the bridge club are an indispensible part of a full life too. There’s just some things you can’t, or don’t want to, share with your husband. LOL Continue reading →
Where I come from small groups (especially ones for Jesus) are a relatively new phenomenon. I guess when I was younger, we had small groups, but nobody called them that, and most of us didn’t recognize the benefits that arise from being members of one. My first introduction was when I went on a “Walk to Emmaus”, and they talked about being a member of a “Reunion Group”, which was defined as: 3-5 people who meet together once a week to review how they’re doing in their walk with Jesus; to answer one or more of seven questions about things like: 1] Closest moment to God; 2] Discipleship denied, 3] Discipleship confirmed, and a few others. They called it an “accountability” group. That always sounded like you had a list of things you were supposed to be doing, and the other members of the group were supposed to hold you accountable, if you fail to live up to your duties as a Christian. I almost didn’t join a Reunion Group because of the crushing weight of being held accountable. However, it turns out to be a lot more about love, and a lot less about accountability.
I’m a member of three “small groups” now. Two of them would loosely fall under the umbrella of Emmaus Reunion Groups. The other one I’ve been having with my daughter (and a few others) early on Saturday mornings for more than 10 years. Now that group includes my favorite son-in-law. It’s the best of the lot, even though the others are truly a blessing as well. Continue reading →