About 10 years ago I decided to join a book study group with some other youth pastors in Kalamazoo, MI (yes, there really is a Kalamazoo). These were some men and women that I had gotten to know a bit from our monthly gatherings. However, this study would meet on the other three weeks of the month -- in other words, 3 times as often.
I met with these folks over the course of a couple of years and we read and discussed a number of books during that time. The most impactful one was called "The Real Deal" and was about becoming more authentic in life and leadership. This particular study required us to really open up about our lives and to be willing to become vulnerable. It was pretty scary to share some of this stuff! But I can't express enough how much I gained in depth of friendship and freedom from some emotional and spiritual baggage I had been carrying around for years! I'm still in contact with most of those people even though we now live various places around the country (I play Fantasy Football with some of them).
Participating in a small group has the potential for big growth in your spiritual life. I think it's the most effective way to mature in your faith because it provides a setting to ask questions and share your life with others in a safe and intimate setting. I know that I am better able to understand concepts when I have the opportunity to talk things out and wrestle with them together with others.
This Sunday, September 22nd, we'll be talking about these "Reckless Relationships" that take place in small, Community Groups. You'll learn about a number of groups around the valley that you can become a part of. I hope to see you there!
Thoughts about living as a Jesus follower and life at Community Covenant Church