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How real are you?

January 26, 2010

Not long ago I read a few articles on Conversant Life about small groups, accountability, and transparency. There were some varied views regarding whether small groups are good, healthy, and meeting the needs in our lives. Are they really leading us to growth, maturity, and connection?

Are you in a small group? Maybe it goes by another name: home group, community group, missional group, home church, bible study, discipleship group, etc.

Some people think small groups work because you gather with a small group on a regular basis. Others believe that by living in the same neighborhood and seeing each other not only at small group but also at the store, dropping the kids off at school, and when you run errands around town you will be in community. However groups are often only as deep as the members choose to go.

How real are you with that group? Are you transparent? Do you share your real heart? Do you let others see your joys, struggles, fears, concerns, opinions, and passions? Do others in the group know what is truly happening in your life? Do they know what is really important to you?

I gathered with a group last night. We have known each other for a few months now, but we just changed focus and some members are not longer attending so the group was smaller. We were able to share some deep and personal things. It was a wonderful time of sharing. We made a choice to reveal our hearts, to share our lives. Tomorrow I have the privilege to join with my new church, a small group that is just starting to bond (we are only three weeks old). We are taking steps to create community and to learn about each other. Everything we do is setting the tone for our future. Each time we gather we are trying to take steps to be real.

The next time you have the chance to share with a group you are a part of can you take a risk and be real? Being real doesn’t mean you have to be naked and reveal everything, just take off the football pads and let someone get close enough to see your heart. they just might love the joys and passions they can see in you.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2010 4:11 am

    When the church was new, they didn’t have the mega-gatherings we have today – they met in each other’s homes and shared what Jesus had taught, what the Holy Spirit had revealed to them. They lived together and shared everything, including their personal lives.

    Have you ever read “Why You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore”? It’s a great little book about small groups and what’s really important – it’s not about us, it’s about Him! 🙂

    As Sanaya Roman has written, “You may want everybody to think you are a perfect person, so you act out a role that says, “I’m fine, do not worry about me, I am tough and I don’t need any help.” That creates separateness between yourself and others and keeps you from love at the very time you most need it. Have you noticed how much love you feel towards others when they are vulnerable and admit that they are not sure how to handle something, rather than acting as if they know it all? Do not be afraid to be seen for who you are.”

    • January 28, 2010 5:16 pm

      I have read that book, although I never thought of it as really being about small groups although that was a theme in it. I guess I saw it more about connections and being present in life with others. I have read several others great books that also have impacted my thinking. Probably the most impactful,the first about community and the second about authenticity, were Becoming a True Spiritual Community by Larry Crabb and TruFaced by Thrall/McNichol/Lynch.

      I am part of a brand new church plant (3 weeks), and our core leadership team has been talking a lot about Acts 2, and how to be truly connected with others. All needs can’t be met if they are never voiced, so we have to create opportunity. They didn’t just come to someone’s house to eat, but they shared….life, stories, souls, communion, worship, teaching, etc. Their purpose for being together wasn’t companionship, and their community wasn’t just congenial, conforming, and comfortable. In fact, I expect it was often uncomfortable and conflicting, but mostly it was centered around the Gospel.

      Thanks Ed, your comments are bringing new insights and thoughts. I appreciate being sharpened!

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