Does your church have life groups (a.k.a. small groups, cell groups, community groups)? For years we had been involved in one group or another. Then we hit a busy season and had to drop out. A couple of years passed and we really started feeling disconnected from people at church. It finally dawned on us that it was because we were not in a group! We decided to remedy the situation and last night was our first group meeting.
Our church is calling them “life groups” now because we want to emphasize the fact that we want do “do life” with these people. In many ways we already are doing life with them,. however, life is busy and often time goes by and relationships begin to slip because we have not been intentional about setting dates. By setting aside a set day and time, we are guaranteed to have a placeholder in our busy schedules to gather together for a meal.
This is not a Bible study or prayer group, although eventually I’m sure we will study a book of the Bible, some other book, and we will have time for prayer. For now, we are just getting together for a potluck meal. There’s something that happens around food that doesn’t happen around a formal study or prayer meeting. I don’t know what it is, but it’s true. People share stories, take off their masks, allow themselves to be a little more vulnerable, tell a little more of themselves. Since the group is new, we want to gel, and having a potluck meal together creates room for the gelling to happen.
There was a lot of laughter last night, a lot of noise, a lot of children shrieking and running and playing. There were pajama pants, and “we’re out of bowls”, and “oops, the water spilled-grab a paper towel”. The salad was tasty, the chili was filling, the cookies were pumpkiny, light and slightly sweet. There was lots of catching up, lots of teasing and joking.
Life group. It’s messy. It’s loud. It takes planning, and time, and forethought.
I highly recommend one. Find yourself one. And if you don’t find one, create it. Life is meant to be lived in community.