This past Monday, we wrapped up two weeks worth of traveling just in time for the kickoff of one of our church's brand new small groups.
I love the concept of small group - it provides a context for relationships and discipling not possible in 'big church'. Through the first adult small group that Gary and I ever participated in came our calling to youth ministry (a story I really need to blog on someday!). Unfortunately, due to scheduling issues we've had trouble getting plugged into one at Fair Oaks up to this point.
So, we were pretty stoked to get together Monday along with four other (OUR AGE!!!!!) couples. All groups will be kicking off this fall by going through Peter Scazzero's Emotionally Healthy Church Workbook.
The workbook is based on the book by the same name, which Gary and I read one year ago as part of the Retool Kit process. It proposes that emotional and spiritual maturity are linked, and that by evaluating and growing in our emotional maturity we will be able to overcome roadblocks to growing spiritually.
What struck me about our meeting this past Monday was an unusually high level of openness and authenticity, especially for a first meeting. (It helps that certain couples are friends with other couples in the group, but this is the first time we've all hung out together) This is a group of people who want to build good relationships and true community. I'm really excited for the potential of this group and to see where God leads us throughout the coming year.
Are you in a small group at your church? Why / why not? I invite you to leave a comment and share what factors have helped to build community within your group.