A Small Group Exam

At Shelby Crossings, we believe in Small Groups. Whether you call them community groups, cell groups, care groups, life groups, or discipleship groups, we recognize that most genuine spiritual transformation comes in the environment of a small group of caring friends. We often say around here that our weekly small group meetings are the most important ministry in the life of our church each week. Our groups are where relationships are developed, people are discipled, spiritual gifts are employed, intercession is shared, and the truths of God’s word are grappled with and applied to real life. Accordingly, I sure hope you’re involved in a group at Shelby Crossings. Or, if you’re not, that you’ll come try one out this week. For those who are regulars in a small group, it’s always helpful to stop and rethink what we’re doing and why we’re doing it in the life of our group. Socrates once said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” So too, sometimes an unexamined group is not worth attending, especially when we find ourselves just going through the motions instead of focusing on genuinely connecting with one another, and with God. No doubt, it becomes very easy after a while just to “show up” at your group meeting each week, and lose sight of what God wants to do in and through you in your group. It is vital that we constantly re-evaluate our group’s direction and mission, and re-focus our vision for doing ministry. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you a not-so-serious Top Ten List that you might want to use as a “checklist,” to aid you as you examine the direction your group is going: Top 10 Signs Your Small Group Needs New Direction 10….The last time your group had a visitor, Jimmy Carter was president.
9….Group members routinely finish one another’s sentences.
8….Nobody in the group wants to build low-cost housing for the poor, but 8 out of 10 members DO want to build a compound eight miles out of town.
7….For a group project, members shave each other’s legs.
6….Every time you ask for new ideas for new Bible study topics, members mumble in unison, “Could we study about stress and spiritual burnout?”
5….Group members share their burdens, and the most empathetic response is, “Stop your whining!”
4….You move your meeting to the city jail because 6 out of 9 members have “accommodations” there anyway.
3….Members ask for coffee the moment they arrive to wash down the No-Doz tablets they brought with them.
2….Joe, the most gentle guy in the group, closes with the same prayer each week: “God, help the powers to be in this group see what a colossal waste of time these meetings are, and how, to a man, each member would rather endure a root canal without anesthetic. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
1….You discover that your host family has moved and left no forwarding address. Here’s hoping your re-examined group life is worth living this week. I’m praying for you, and look forward to seeing you this Sunday. –Pastor Ken