What was your main reason for joining a small group? Were you looking to meet some new friends? Gain some accountability? Make a ginormous church feel a little more personal? Have free chips and killer spinach dip once a week?
Or was it to spur on and be spurred on? To come alongside others and have them come alongside you? To laugh, learn, and yes, "do life" together?
Justin and I got involved with a small group several years ago for all these things. But lately I have been praying over something I wanted to keep private until I have it all figured out. I wanted to be able to give an answer on the back end as to how everything came together.
And then my friend B said something last night at small group, and I realized that my decision to share after the fact made no sense. Why would I not want these amazing people in on the along-the-way process?
I guess I was, in some ways, looking to show up shallow and go home the same way. Maybe I arrived thinking more about catching up over chips and dip than actually being vulnerable. I was excited to see my friends but didn't anticipate sharing. I would have been fine having someone else open up, but I had no plans to do that myself.
But that wasn't in the works. Vulnerability was. And, against my best efforts to conceal it, so was the Ugly Cry (dang it).
I'm not saying small groups should be counseling sessions. Probably shouldn't be, in fact. But opening up is important. Vulnerability is appropriate. Walking the path alongside others is one place where the companionship of God becomes real to us.
I left small group trusting I'm covered in prayer as we make decisions going forward. I went home knowing I'm loved.
I left with a lot more than a belly full of chips and dip.
P.S. Hey O-Siders -- think we can get a trampoline for our small group?