I’ve been a part of small groups for almost 15 years. I’ve had some great experiences and some challenges. Honestly, I don’t leave group every week with a brand new insight about God. I haven’t connected with everyone I’ve been in groups with. In fact, there are some I’ve found it difficult to relate to. And there have been a few nights when I’ve secretly hoped that everyone would cancel so I would have a free evening. My small groups haven’t always been what I wanted them to be.
I’ve experienced all these things over the years, but they don’t represent why I continue to be a part of small groups. The reason I continue to make groups a priority is simple: I have been changed for the better by the experience. When I am asked to share how God has been working in my life, I am forced to be open and accountable. When I commit to study a curriculum or book of the Bible, it makes me prioritize the time. When I commit to pray for the people in my group, I am moved beyond the “me-centered” prayers.
When I see God work in big and small ways up close and personal in someone’s life, it encourages me in my pursuit of Christ. When I watch people surrender areas of their lives to God, it reminds me to keep him as the center of every area of my life. When I’ve prayed for a friend or family member of someone in my small group who doesn’t know Christ, it convicts me to be intentional in praying for those in my world who don’t know Christ. While the experiences haven’t always gone as I would have liked, God knew what he was doing all along. He knew that for me to grow spiritually, I needed other people involved in my life.
As a pastor on staff , I want what I have experienced in small groups for every single person who attends Buckhead Church. There will be a lid to your spiritual growth if you pursue it on your own. God designed us as relational beings that need each other to experience the growth he wants for us.
Church is experienced during the week just as much as it is on Sunday. If you are not currently in a group, we have GroupLink later this month, which is a great way for you to take a step toward joining a group. Don’t settle for mediocrity in your spiritual growth. Choose to take a step forward. I can’t promise you that it will always be smooth sailing, but I can promise you that if you are open, God will make positive changes in you as well.
Steve Giddens ::: Director of Group Life ::: Buckhead Church
You can learn more about GroupLink and pre-register at www.buckheadchurch.org/grouplink.
Men’s GroupLink: Thursday, August 23
Women’s GroupLink: Friday, August 24
Married Couples’ GroupLink: Saturday, August 25
do stuffdiscuss nicely
postedaug 7, 2012