Creating Moments

Posted: October 29, 2009 in crossings, small group

Hot Camping StudsHaving been a part of my guys small group now for over 2 years, I sometimes find myself feeling bad for churches that try to do small groups, and it just doesn’t work.  I don’t even really know who these churches are, I just know they’re out there.

Coming from a fairly traditional church background, up until just a few years ago, I can totally understand how small groups just don’t work in many places.  It’s hard to describe, but not so hard to understand.

At the same time, it’s hard to describe exactly why they DO work at Crossings.  Granted, not every small group is always flourishing.  Some have growing pains.  Others end.  Still others have consistency issues.  But, as a whole, our small groups are thriving and are truly providing the life blood of our church.

Because each group is different, does different things, and are led by different personalities, I can really only explain MY view as to what makes a small group work.  How do you build community among people who may not know each other?  How do generate a spirit of loyalty and camraderie?  How do build a small group for the long term?

For me, it’s by CREATING MOMENTS.  What do I mean?  Think back to your youth group (if you were in one).  Do you remember the lessons or what you prayed about?  I don’t, and you probably don’t either.  But do you remember the mission trip, the CIY conference, the service project you did in the cold of winter, or the crazy experiences on the church van?  I do.

Think back to high school.  Do you remember any individual class session or a conversation with a friend?  Probably not.  But do you remember your prom, going to the state competition in something, participating in a special event, or your graduation party?  I do.

Are you a parent?  Think back on your child’s first year.  Do you remember much about individual days or moments spent with your child?  Probably not.  But do you remember the birth?  The first time they smiled or crawled?  Their first birthday party?  I do.

So now, I think back on my small group.  We’ve studied about 15 books of the Bible, spent hours in prayer for one another, eaten lots of great snacks, and spent time talking about our weeks and what’s going on in our lives.  Do I remember much of that over the course of 2 years?  A little bit, but not much.

But what do I remember?  …….  our very first awkward small group meeting at Scott’s apartment, helping the Restoration House with a work project, laughing our asses off at IHOP, going to see The Dark Knight, helping people in our community move to new places, welcoming Mark to our small group with a customized banner, spontaneously deciding one night to go see midget wrestling, only to end up at Sundown in the City, celebrating the glorious revolution from England together, going camping on a wet and rainy weekend, gangsta posing with the BVD, leaving a stack of potted meat cans on one guys doorstep, going to see our new friend in the hospital after he had a wreck, then helping him move to a new apartment a week later, pissething on the wall, going tubing on the Pigeon River, going to see our buddy’s band perform, volunteering at Prom of the Stars, watching a guy in our small group get baptized.

For me, this is what makes our small group great.  Clearly, we are grounded in seeking Christ together, studying His Word, and praying for each other.  But what has made it last, what has built true friendship and loyalty and a spirit of togetherness, has been creating moments.  Moments that build, that serve, and that endure.  To me, without these, we are basically a Sunday School class that meets on Thursday.  But by creating moments, we become a small group.

  1. Greg says:

    This might be the best thoughts on Small Groups I’ve ever read… I just forwarded this to our small groups pastor. As I think back now to groups I’ve been a part of over the years, your words are absolutely true. The groups where we shared experiences were incredibly meaningful… the groups where we didn’t… weren’t.

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