Tag Archives: small group

Community

Cyndi and I have participated in community groups (small group Bible studies/discussion groups) for a number of years.  I think we both feel that church and our faith is best lived out in small groups.  Worship services are fantastic – we both love them!  But authenticity among fellow believers is best when the surroundings are more intimate and the level of trust is high among the participants.

When we first began a small group at our home, our hopes were high.  Hopes that through weekly gatherings, we could develop a sense of community among friends that would transcend the artificial Christianity that is prevalent in churches across America.  What we discovered was that people have a tough time being real with each other.  I think in part that fear is based on our on shortcomings. “What will people think of me if I tell them how I really act or talk or think?”  What I learned in that first community group is that it is tough to find community with people who don’t want it!  As our relationship with Christ grew, Cyndi and I were challenged to make changes in our lives – changes that demonstrated our walk with God!  As we acted on that developing relationship, some of our community began drifting away – distancing themselves from us!

For the past 11 months, Cyndi and I have commuted weekly from Inverness to Tallahassee to lead another community group and attend City Church.  It’s been a sacrifice that could only have been accomplished with God.  We  have travelled over 16,000 miles and spent thousands of dollars on gas and food.  But what I have realized most recently is that God has used us in this group in an incredible way.  Not our leadership but simply our obedience to Him.  Listening and acting on what He has called us to do has had an incredible impact on a number of people – mostly those who we share our lives with each week in community.

I told our group last night that as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this week, let’s reflect on what we are really thankful for.  Let’s not just say the words that others expect us to say.  I am thankful for our community group and the opportunity I have each week to invest in their lives and to let them invest in ours.

Community is important.  I hope you find a spot in one where you can be real and allow others to support you too.


Living in Community

Each Monday night, Cyndi and I lead a small group discussion group – a Community Group that delves deeper into the weekly message from Dean Inserra at City Church. As a group we honestly address issues that we face in our daily lives. Issues about faith, forgiveness, holiness, salvation, redemption, sharing our faith, living out our faith and generally what it means to be a real Christ follower.

Last night was another good time with some people who are really committed to Christ. One couple brought a friend – Michele. Michele will leave next week for a two year long mission to Hungary with the International Mission Board. I tend to ask a lot of questions and Michele intrigued me – so you can guess the rest!

Michele will spend her time building relationships with college students and members of the community she will live in. Her goals will be to disciple believers and lead them to a point of facilitating comm;unity groups when she leaves in a few years.

Although Michele will be paid to do this, aren’t each of us as Christ followers charged to dod the exact same thing? Isn’t our primary goal as a follower of Christ to share his love and glory with others? Doesn’t Jesus Christ himself leave us with a charge to go throughout all nations and teach others about Him?

I’m excited for Michele! She is embrking on an adventure that is beyond cool to me! I challenged our group to pray for Michele. I know I will.

As we closed our time together, Michele’s friends asked me to share a little of our story with Michele. While I look at our life and our actions as doing what God has called us to do, others seem to look at it with a different view. When I quit my job and began commuting 200 miles one way each week to facilitate this group and to offer my skill sets and knowledge to City Church, I did what I heard God telling me to do. He was in fact answering a prayer I’ve prayed for a very long time. I’ve begged God to let me be a part of a big movement of His. He is answering that right now! God is working through City Church in Tallahassee in a remarkable way! And I get to be a small part of it!

God has blessed us in so many ways. Last night I was reminded of the people He has surrounded us with and that may be the biggest blessing of all!