Small Group, Back Again

Posted: September 17, 2010 in crossings, small group

3 years ago this week, I went to the first meeting of the first Crossings guys small group.  There were four of us….me, Scott, Chris and Aaron.  That first meeting was Aaron’s last meeting.  So, for the next four months, there were just the three of us (pictured here).

3 years later, there are now 3 guys small groups, encompassing about 20 – 22 guys total between the 3 groups.  I’ve admitted in front of Crossings, as well as to other small group leaders, that our first small group “reproduction” last year was a difficult one for me.  Our original small group had been together, and grown together for 2 years.  Some of my greatest current friendships were forged in that group.

But growth is good, right?  So last year we reproduced, and I gladly assumed the leadership of the 2nd group.  This year, my group remains mostly in tact, as it’s the other group that has reproduced into 2, making the total of 3.  And it continues to grow, as 2 more guys have joined the newest group, just within the last week or so.

If you don’t know this already, small group has been life changing for me.  I’ve prayed and contemplated much over the last few years about how God might use me to serve and minister both now and in the future.  My history will certainly leave many doors shut.  But at least for now it’s clear that small group is the way in which God has called me to serve.

And not just by way of serving and loving the guys in my group….but also to help lead the groups as a whole in service to others.  I’m so proud to say that in the last 2 1/2 years, the guys group has been involved in at least 23 different “3rd leg” service opportunities.  20 of those have been helping people in our community (and guys in our group) move to a new place.  And a few of those moves have been so clearly a God-given ministry that it has brought me to tears at times.

Now, can we continue at that pace?  I don’t know.  We’re trying to be more selective in these opportunities, to make sure that we’re assisting in moves that truly need our help, that don’t have other friends or resources to call upon first.  Regardless, these opportunities have been a blessing to me, to our group, and to those we’ve helped.

Even more importantly (to me at least) is that small group has given me a reason to enjoy living in Knoxville again.  My wife and I have developed deep and wonderful friendships through small group that we know will last for a long long time.  We’ve watched friends get married, have new babies, go back to school, move to new homes, get new jobs.

This is something that you just can’t get on Sunday mornings at church.  Sundays are fabulous for connecting with God…but rarely for connecting with others.  At Crossings, that happens through small group.  And I thank God for mine.

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