It’s official – another quarter of classes is done. Finished. Gone.
And for once, I can say THANK GOODNESS!
It’s been a crazy week. Between a couple of big events for our small groups and finals, I’m due for a let down! I finished up my last paper at 4:45 p.m. on Friday, and our big year-end celebration for small groups was pulled off without a hitch Sunday night. Around 200 people got together to eat, celebrate the past year, and look ahead.
Want to know what excites me most about working with small groups? The potential. This church was one that caught hold of the small groups idea early. There are some groups that have been meeting together for more than 20 years! More than half of the people who attend church on Sundays are involved in a small group. For larger churches, that’s a good percentage to start with. There are groups that are serving and reaching out to people around them. There’s a lot happening that deserves to be recognized.
But in the midst of that, there’s so much more to be done! It’s exciting to seek God and pray for what he has next. Over the next year (and probably longer) our team’s going to be focusing on three main things: supporting existing groups, starting new groups, and publicizing groups in the church and beyond.
When a group’s been meeting for five or more years, some can basically run on auto pilot. They don’t need much attention from the church. And a lot of groups are doing a great job at that. But, we want to be there to support, encourage, and pour into these groups however we can. Auto pilot shouldn’t be necessary! It’s not about controlling, but more about walking alongside the groups grow, change, and adapt as they seek to connect to God, each other, and the world.
In looking, there are also entire sections of our church that don’t have real options for small groups. We’re working to start new groups that provide places where everyone can fit.
And finally, like I said before, a majority of people are in groups already – which is great! But in the past we haven’t shared enough stories of what God’s doing in groups. Group members have been a silent majority. We want to find ways to share the stories of what’s happening with the church as a whole. Our interim pastor has been a terrific champion for small groups. He believes in them. And it’s such a blessing.
It’ll be exciting to see what the next year brings.