Saturday, January 29, 2005

Getting a Life (Group)

I spent the morning helping my friend Stacye hang up life group sign-up sheets in our church lobby. Life groups are one of the premiere programs of our congregation, probably the ministry that our church places the most emphasis on. We always take a hiatus around the holidays and resume with reorganized groups each February. This gives groups the opportunity to reshuffle and allow for members to meet other members, no easy task considering our membership is at 1,200 strong.

Life group sign-up time always brings a certain amount of anxiety to me. The purpose of life groups is not simply to have a group of people to rehash the day's sermon and share dinner with, but more to have a fellowship of people with whom you can share your life, hurts, needs, dreams, etc. I suppose that's why I always feel somewhat of an internal pressure to choose the "right" group to join.

I've been in some really great, close-knit groups. And I've been in some, well, not so great groups. I've made some strong bonds with certain people in groups past. There are other former fellow life group members with whom the only communication we have is saying "Hi" as we pass each other in the halls at church. I've been in some groups that were more of a social gathering than anything else. This year I was blessed to be part of not one but two wonderfully deep life groups, both of which weathered many storms that drew us closer to each other and closer to God.

I know that no group is perfect, and I'm not looking for perfection in a life group. What I am looking for is that deeper connection that I talked about yesterday, a group of believers who are also sensing a need and desire for revival. Normally I sign up for a group on the first Sunday that the sheets are posted, which would mean tomorrow. But this year I feel a need to wait and not rush into committing to any one group just yet. I'm praying about which group to join, and I will probably end up visiting a few different groups before making my commitment.

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