In April, we gathered all of the small groups together for a big gathering. I love that: food, friends, stories, laughter, some tears (hopefully for the right reasons). I was nervous about trying the small group big gathering a second time; we had gotten all of the small groups together in November and it was wildly successful. I was worried this time it would fall flat. Especially when the evening first started, it felt like the room was empty and quiet.
As the room began to fill, the volume increased. It went from a lifeless room to a vibrating electric feeling. I realized that this gathering was exactly what I needed. I needed to see the impact that small groups were having, especially as I was getting ready to head off to Haiti in with our missions team (read: small group).
We started table discussions in our small groups and enjoyed a meal together. Then, we did a “mixer” for the remainder of the evening, shuffled everyone around, and we each got to meet new people in our church.
Near the end we did a show of hands to see how many people met someone they’d never met before, a huge majority of the hands went into the air. I was blown away, small group members are some of our most committed people in the church, and I was amazed by the pure number of people that didn’t know everyone in the room.
This gathering was exactly what I needed to reaffirm that our small group ministry is doing exactly what it was designed for; how important the role of a small group is in our community.
Small groups are bringing people together for fellowship and the studying of the Word. Small groups are developing relationships with each other and becoming family. These groups are helping us find a safe community in a not-so-safe world.