I don’t quite remember my first small group, not the details anyway. I remember sitting in a dorm commons room at UNC – Chapel Hill, with a group of people who were just becoming new friends, sitting in a circle, with Bibles in hand, praying hesitant and a bit nervous prayers, and starting on a journey that would change the trajectory of my life. It was in that group that I learned that I needed and wanted others in my life who could help me in my life with God. That has never changed.
Over the years, I have been in a lot of different groups. Not too long after I moved to Southern California, I joined a young adult group at my church that helped get me back on track spiritually, after taking some detours. On Sundays after church, during the summer we could go to baseball games and sit in the cheap sits and eat hot dogs. We were all young and single and were able to do life together. Those relationships alone helped pull me back.
After Stacey and I got married, we joined a small group for married couples which became our first married couple friends and was exactly what we needed for that season of our lives.
I’ve led groups and have been a member, and each time the experience was different but the same. The growth I experienced was usually subtle, almost imperceptible, and yet there have been “epiphany” type moments when it was very clear that God was speaking. No matter the group, I have always gained from the insight and wisdom and experiences of others in the groups; I have always been encouraged and strengthened by their prayers.
God has used small groups in my life, season after season to grow my faith and transform me, ever so slowly, season by season, to become more and more like Jesus. I have so much further to go, so I am excited to about to begin a new small group. I know God will be faithful to meet us there. He always has been.
I know it can take courage to join a group, especially when you don’t know what to expect or don’t know the people at all or all that well. It seems that way almost every time we start a new group. I just know it is worth it. We need each other. You need other people to grow and go through life and become the person God created and called you to be.
It is our prayer that everyone at Bridges will join a small group, maybe for the first time or maybe for the 100th. It’s where God does some of His best work. Jesus formed a small group, and that group was where He poured His life for 3 years. It was that important to Him.
This season, we have some great small groups. Check them out and take a step of courage and faith.
You can check them out here... BRIDGES SMALL GROUPS