Our Sunday night small group is reading through Thom Rainer’s newest book, “I Will.” Tonight’s chapter focused on small groups and the importance of being in a small group. He says that if we are not involved in a small group we are just marginal church members. Since we have been active church members we have always participated in Sunday school which qualifies as a small group according to Mr. Rainer, but I have always longed for the relationships that are built from a smaller group of people that meet regularly outside of church. Our church building is great but to me it can be a bit sterile as opposed to the warmness of someone’s home.
Part of our discussion was about why people don’t want to meet in homes anymore. Have we lost our sense of hospitality? Is the church building a safer place to meet? Is there something about being in someone’s home that causes people to think that they must let down their guard and be real?
I will be the first to admit that I have to really trust someone before I will open up and share what’s on my heart. It can be scary to think that you might open yourself up to someone who may not understand your situation, judge you, or worse shatter your trust by sharing information with others.
Regardless of where we choose to meet, does the chance that someone might hurt you override the chance that you might develop a relationship that brings you joy, someone who will pray for you, hold you accountable and stick with you for a lifetime?
I think we need to give ourselves grace and those we seek to develop a lasting relationship with grace to take that chance to be real.