For much of my adult life, I thought small groups were, well, silly. Maybe a waste of my time. Oh, I was in quite a few from Boy Scouts to law enforcement, there always seemed to be a need for a small group to work together. I think I equated the church “small group” to many of the leadership training seminars I had attended where they break you into “triads” or “quads” to discuss the points the facilitator deems necessary but the ones I really didn’t like is when we had to role-play something because I always felt way too exposed for those.
Along came the Walk to Emmaus weekend experience which I found to be a wonderfully growing time where my faith was renewed, and the fire turned up to ten. Following the weekend people are encouraged to join a small group for on-going encouragement (read that accountability). “Of course,” I thought, “they would!” so I resisted, but a couple friends kept encouraging me and I finally began going to the weekly “reunion group” meeting. It wasn’t long before I was convinced that this was a good thing. I had found a safe place where I could unload, express frustration, and be encouraged, and yes, held accountable for what I said I was going to do.
Since that time, I have belonged to many small groups, but I still stay in contact with the guys from that reunion group. Who do you have that you regularly meet with? Who can you be ‘real’ with? Who encourages you personally?
At Lakeview, we are embarking on a quest to re-invigorate the notion of small groups and working to see everyone in a small group. Some will be Bible studies, some fellowship, some crafty, some travel, some may be movie groups, but in each, we want to have the opportunity for sharing, building up, being accountable, and even mission. Linda, Ross, and I believe that small groups are the best way to grow in faith and provide a regular connection for fellowship, service, fun, and whatever else the group may toss in.
You’ll find opportunities on our website, through our emails or you can take the challenge and start your own. We can help with that. Your group can meet when you want it to meet. You can meet in-person or use Zoom (or both). Find a group, start a group, make the group your own and discover the joy of deeper friendships, wider faith, and more joy in your life.
~ Pastor John