I have to confess I that I don’t like small groups (the church kind, not gatherings of height challenged individuals) When we host group I dread it all day. We have to get the house clean, reset the furniture, watch my wife make dessert, study the material, plan the questions…all the small group stuff a small group leader does. On top of all this I’m an introvert. Small group day is the worst day of the week for me, why do we do this to ourselves?
And then the people come and we laugh, and we talk, and we study, and we pray. Eventually we get a little under the surface and we see what real life looks life instead of the plastic version we experience the rest of the day. Occasionally life peels away all the layers and we come face to face with the ugliness of this mortal tent we wear. For two hours a week we are forced to be ourselves, share our joy and our pain with friends who know us, who love us, who care. At the end a couple lingers longer than the rest and shares their wound and we try to offer a little help and we realize we are all hanging desperately onto God’s promises and we know that we are connected at a level deeper than most people ever experience.
I’m afraid I will always hate small groups. They will always be inconvenient and a hassle, they will always be uncomfortable and frustrating. But I can’t think of better way to follow Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself than to connect deeply with a small group of fellow travelers. So I’ll see you next week at small group. Oh, great.