Sara and i went to another small group last night and were renewed in our vision for what our church is becoming all over again. As we often do the evening began with sitting around a living room and letting each person share "their story". (Something I'm still not used to is the nervousness you can feel at the first because the "Sr. Pastor" is in our group. It's like every body be on your best behavior - like I'm going to report you to God if you're bad). Anyway, people began to share and there was laughter and friendly ribbing (you know how that is when people are really familiar with each other) and tears (as people mentioned how their small group had been instrumental in helping them grow - I've always believed that when you start crying together it's real). This group we shared with last night has been around since 1992 which means they were one of the original groups at our church and they are still around 16 years later!
Then of course we shared prayer requests and prayed together (is there anything more unifying?) and of course, we ate together. And it was awesome. I'll admit it, on the way there I told Sara how tired I was, but I left that place filled because of the encouragement they gave me and because what God is doing in them.
When we left, I told Sara. "it happened again. I'm just so blessed by what is happening in groups like this all over the church." My experience over the past year as I've visited probably 20-25 groups is exactly the same: real people doing real life together in Christ. It really is awesome and I thought, what if this is the way it is in 170 small groups throughout our church. And then I thought, who is missing out on this because they are afraid of getting into a small group. And then I thought, I wonder if the Dallas Cowboys won tonight? Funny thing is after hanging with this small group, the score really didn't matter.