2020 Vision: 5 Dynamics Where We’re Seeing Success
Two years ago, we decided to start a Small Group with some dear friends of ours. We were very enthusiastic in the beginning as we thought of all the pieces that go into starting a group:
• Who would join?
• Where would we host?
• When and how often would we meet?
But very soon we were humbled to see our ideas not coming to fruition as we had envisioned.
Humbled From the Start
We were thankful for this experience because it served as a good reminder that the Lord ultimately directs our steps. Now our group is vibrant, and I am in awe of how God has woven everything together.
Whether you are leading or participating in a Small Group, have you ever stepped back and evaluated your expectations? How do you measure whether your Small Group has been a success? Here are 5 things that I have learned over the past few years that have remained a marker for our group.
1. Embrace Each Other’s Human Limitations
We are all messy people with schedules, responsibilities, a divided focus, work concerns, family needs, and sometimes just physical exhaustion! Expect that you may not all be best friends: but still commit to be there for each other in times of need. You may go through seasons when it feels like you rarely see each other, but keep communicating and praying for one another as life happens. Your faithfulness will be a blessing.
2. Determine To Be Present
Life is busy, and there is always a choice to make about where you will invest your time. Community flourishes best when we are visible.
Of course, your Small Group will not be the only Christian friends in your life, but who else do you commit to meet with weekly (or bi-weekly) for the sole purpose of talking about Jesus, dividing God’s Word and applying it to immediate, real life circumstances?
3. Give Grace To Your Small Group Leaders
Your encouragement means so much, and it serves as fuel when the energy tank is running low. We are all simply brothers and sisters in Christ, working out our faith together. As leaders we want to serve our groups well. Please let your leaders know when they are serving you well.
4. Join a Group Close To Where You Live
This is so you can engage more easily. Sometimes it’s tempting to join a ready-made group of friends. It seems perfect at first, but then the challenge of getting there becomes more easily felt than the blessing of being there. It’s harder to muster the energy to nurture others, build relationships, and help meet various needs if distance is an obstacle.
5. Be Willing To Be Vulnerable
Share some of the hard stuff that God is working on in your life. It’s very likely that others have the same struggle.
There were significant changes that occurred in almost everyone’s life in our group last year: from elder parent caregiving, to wayward children, to loneliness, to personal (and professional) transition, to blending family, to dealing with death. When we’re vulnerable, God opens opportunities to affirm each other in our faith walk and to build each other up, making a large church feel small.
College Park Member
Tiffany Dearman has been a member of College Park Church since 2008 and co-leads a Small Group with her husband another couple.