I am writing this blog while I am flying back from the west coast. I will get into Tampa around midnight. Get home around 1am…and I have a problem. A good one. I have my small group at 6:30am. I will not miss it. I will miss some sleep but I will not miss my time with my guys if I am in town.
I have been in small groups since I was a young person in youth group all the way to present day. If I was out of a group it was because it was on a hiatus or I had a short commitment that kept me out. I have been in couples, men’s, leadership, purpose base, special invitation and even an athlete’s group (I was the leader and the only triathlete in the group of professional athletes. Somebody had to lead…)
So why would I work so hard to get back to read Luke 15 – the parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin. (Stories I have taught and shared numerous times.) I will because these men make me laugh, think and grow.
Since no one really leads the group, we all facilitate the discussion. I get the honor of starting the group with saying the scripture and then asking, “What jumps out at you boys?” We pick on each other’s thoughts, insights and words. But with a smile that says, “I am for you and I got your back. Keep diving in.” It is a safe place to put “flesh” on scriptures that have challenged man for years.
They cause me to think. I can’t just say this is what I believe because I know someone will ask, “Why?” Or, “What do you have to back that up?” I have learned so many practical applications just listening to them dissect the Word of God. And it is good stuff. I once got a whole sermon about the lady who was infirmed for 18 years from the group discussion. They keep you on your toes!
Finally, I am growing in that group. We aren’t pounding through curriculum. We are taking small portions of scripture. If we don’t get to it because we have a life situation or a rabbit trail, that’s ok. We will get it the next week. Our goal is to get through the Bible before Jesus comes back. If we don’t make it, that’s ok too. We pray for each other and when I see one of them at church, I just smile.
Why write about it? You need a small group. A group that will cause you to laugh, think and grow around God. We are getting ready to do something at GFC that will be a tremendous step of growth for so many. We are doing a campaign that will invite every person at GFC (and those outside GFC), to get into a group centered on a six-week message series. It will be relevant to their daily life with practical application and questions. You can do it in one of three ways – (1) In a home or a location of your choice (2) On a GFC Campus or (3) With friends who don’t attend GFC.
Why the push? Because you need a small group – You need to laugh, think and grow.