small groups pastor
I'm passionate about groups. I seriously get jazzed about community. And jazzed isn't a word I use too often. I love to see people come together in community, strengthened by the relational ties of fellow Christ followers who care for one another practically, emotionally, and spiritually. One of the greatest disappointments for me, however, is when a group fizzles before ever having the chance to experience the "goods" that group life is supposed to offer. I honestly believe that too few groups have a chance of getting there because they lack a critical component: consistency.
It's so encouraging to hear of groups that are meeting consistently - in fact, that's a HUGE win for our groups. I know this will probably sound a little weird, but one thing that has always stood out to me is when spouses are willing to attend group alone. Trust me, I love it even more when spouses attend together. But if one is willing to attend without the other, they've just refused a very acceptable excuse for skipping group - "Oh, my husband's working late, and I have the kids by myself... I think we'll just stay home tonight." That's fine. No one would argue with that. That's a reasonable excuse. So when I see that group members have opted to attend group without their spouse, that says something to me about the commitment level of the group.
Here's another one: when a group doesn't cancel just because only a few members could make it. "Well, it was just going to be us (the hosts) and one other couple, so we decided to cancel." Again, most would agree that's fairly reasonable. But when I hear that groups are still meeting in spite of that, it tells me something about the commitment level of that group (and maybe more to the commitment level of those three or four individuals). After all, according to Jesus, all you need for a group meeting is two or more... (Matt. 18:20).
The big win in all of this is when groups are committed to consistent meetings. And the only way for groups to experience this kind of consistency is for members to make the group a priority.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.How consistently has your group been meeting? Have you been quick to cancel, or find that members are missing more than they're attending? If so, that's actually pretty common. It doesn't mean you're in a bad group... it just means your group is struggling with a commitment issue. Now may be the time for your group to take a hard look at what your group is about, and how you can begin to truly pursue life together.