As our small groups prepare to launch,
Gene shares his thoughts on the importance of
relationship with other and the community that small groups offer.
We are not meant to live life alone. Our conviction is this: we are created by God in the image of God. Who is this God? Part of the answer is that God is Trinitarian in nature. The "T" word is a big, hairy, 64 million dollar word which means that God is a communing God. Not partly communing, but perfectly, entirely communing. And communing is about interfacing, connecting, and sharing one's deepest thoughts and experiences with another. So, let's bring this full circle: this is who we are. We are communing men and women because we are made in the image of a communing God.
This makes sense. If we are made in the image of THAT God, then that's why there is an innate longing for friendship and relationship. Oh sure, we mess this up--a lot! But even when we careen into isolation, or even when we chase empty things that fail to fulfill that longing, it doesn't mean the longing for communing has disappeared. It's still there, hiding a little maybe; but it's still there.
If we are made in the image of THAT God, then it explains why we are pushing all our chips over into things like small groups. Communing is how we flourish.
What is a small group? It's a group of at least three people and no more than ten who meet regularly in someone's home or in a coffee shop.
What do you do in a small group? You live life together. Small groups hang out; study God's word; talk about what's going on; argue about March Madness; talk about why there was such a big fuss about "The Interview;" pray about the small and big stuff.
Is it fun? The honest answer is: in time, it will be fun. You'll start to look forward to it. You'll start to love it. And "small group night" will become the best night of the week on your calendar. Because we're made for communing.
But at first it can be a little awkward, because you may not initially know the members of the group well. So, there's a warming up time, a checking it out time, and a getting acquainted time that's going on when you first meet. But you know that! It's like the start of any relationship. That's why we're starting our small groups with one simple commitment: meet together every week for just six weeks. Get acquainted. Figure out who the group members are. Learn how to communicate and talk with one another about some easy-to-talk-about stuff.
If you hang in there, that communing longing will get stronger and stronger. And one day it will dawn on you that you are more alive than ever before just because you have moved closer and closer to doing that communing you are made to do. And that is going to feel incredibly satisfying!
Small groups launch the week of February 22. Right now about 20% of our church is planning to be in small group. So the innovators and the early adopters, who make up 16% of any group, are in and we're now pushing into the early majority, which makes up the next 34% of groups. There are currently groups meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays and there's time for you to get in on a group.
Get in; start communing; start flourishing.