I was a little late trying to sort out how I was going to live my life and what was important. I was almost done with college when I realized that I needed to make some decisions about the direction of my life. Up until that point pieces seemed to fall into place. Later I realized that I had that misperception because others were taking care of things for me. But when I understood I needed grow up, life felt like a puzzle, a constantly shifting puzzle. I would get one piece in place, turn my attention to the next only to find that the pieces had changed size and color. It was around that time I met Ross, Scotty, Chris, and Scott. They brought me into their small group. We met every week to pray and talk about the Bible and life and whatever book we were reading together. That group was one of the strongest guiding forces in my life. You know what studies we did? No? Me either. I can’t remember a single book we read in the years I met with those guys, but the impact was significant. How can such a thing have such an impact when I can not remember a single book we read? I suspect it is because the people and Holy Spirit left such a stamp on my life that the details, the individual pieces, have faded together and all I can see now is the picture.
That isn’t to say what we study isn’t important. It is! But it isn’t everything. Small groups begin this week and I think they are really important. I’m fond of using this line I lifted from a pastor (can’t remember which one or I’d give them credit): “Worship is essential, but it is not sufficient.” We need more. We all need to be trained, equipped, supported, reminded, and corrected. We also need to train, equip, support, remind, and correct others. There might be weeks you leave small group thinking you didn’t benefit from the time there at all. I’m not sure that’s possible, but even if that could happen you may never know the impact you had the others there, the rest of the Body of Christ. I doubt Ross, Scotty, Chris, and Scott know the extent of the impact they had on me. God has equipped you in a special way to give to the church. We need you. And you need us.
I believe that these groups will be beneficial times of prayer, learning to love each other well, honoring God with our time, and paying attention to Him and His word. God uses community deliberately focused on the Gospel and its implications on everything in our lives to bring the pieces of our life into focus. I hope you will be able join us Wednesdays at 6:30 at the church or Thursdays at 7:00 at the Culver’s.