Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Small Groups

First of all, I have to tell you that I LOVE my church. We had been in a large church before we moved here--large churches have their "issues." So we were sure that we didn't want to attend a Big Church.

Where we live, there are three churches within easy walking distance. Nice-sized ones, by the looks of them. But the Lord had different ideas, and we ended up in a Big One. Across town.

Like I said, I love the church. But being big means that you could get lost in the bigness and never connect with anyone else. This is not what Christ meant when He prayed, "that they all would be one." "One" does not mean "alone." So, as in many large churches, we have Small Groups. These were first grouped by locality, as our city is somewhat spread out. The idea was to get to know a group of people well, so that burdens or blessings were easily shared, and that you knew that someone would be praying for your specific needs.

My husband and I never joined a small group. He was already involved in the monthly men's prayer breakfast, and heavily involved with the worship team. I worked in the nursery for several years, went to Ladies' Bible Study every week, and am heavily involved with the homeschool group. Even if we weren't involved with all those things, we have six grown children, who come around at least once a week for dinner. So we already had a number of people we were "doing life with" and whom we wouldn't hesitate to call if we had a prayer need or a physical need.

Every once in awhile, the Pastor-in-charge-of-small-groups would come around and ask us why we weren't Signed Up. He seemed a little confused when we told him we were already in forty-thousand small groups. (Hey, did I mention that all my children's activities came with ready-made Parents Waiting for Kids groups??)

I'm really not harping on small groups. For many people, they are the "skin" in the Jesus-with-skin-on that we are supposed to be. But America has this idea that if a little is good, then More is Better--more groups, more days a week to be away from home, more opportunities to be separated as a family "group..."

This past Sunday in Sunday school, a woman came around to tell us of an Upcoming Event: starting in August, we will be starting Interest Groups. These are small groups based on common interests: camping, archery, mothers of teenage boys, whatever. She asked for volunteers to say what *their* "passion" was--maybe *we* could host one of the groups!!

It's a good thing she didn't ask me. My current "passions" are Figuring Out How I Can Simplify My Life and Stay Home; and, Ways To Focus On Us As A Family.

So, my New Group is set. I already know where we're meeting (home) and who the members are (us--and only us.) Our Scripture comes from Deuteronomy 6 where we are commanded to teach our children about the Lord, when we rise and when we go to bed, when we are on the way and at home, etc.

Goody. Another thing I can check off my list!


Terri said...


plainandsimple said...

A great post. We are all under pressure to over-schedule or micor-organise ourselves often to the detriment of peace and contentment. I'm trying to simplify too! Nice blog!