BY MATT MACDOUGALL, GRACE ATTENDER
My family and I moved to the Indy area a little less than two years ago. We were members of a church in Illinois and found Grace Church soon after moving here. When we look back at our time in Illinois, my wife Robin and I will both admit that what we missed most was our small group. Our small group held our fondest memories and closest bonds. There we grew to intimately know each other’s struggles and joys. For me, a small group was as close as I’d get to what the church must have been like in Acts. They were huddled in a room of someone’s house, learning, praying and sharing life.
When we knew Grace was the church we’d settle at, we sought out a small group. We were invited to a group connection event dinner held at a member’s home. It was a relaxed and inviting time where we got to know a bit about small groups at Grace and the small groups team got to know a bit about us. Being new to the area and not having many friends, we knew we wanted to connect with a group primarily made of couples with kids and were able to share our desires with the small group team.
A short time later, we were placed into a new group at a Group Connect event. I remember being really excited that first meeting as we all talked a bit around the table and got to know each other. It’s now about six months later and I have taken over as group leader due to our leader moving on. Frankly, I think of myself more as a facilitator. I certainly am not a teacher but I try to help keep people talking and make sure whatever we do is grounded in the Bible. With Grace’s subscription to Right Now Media (it's a free resource you can learn more about on gracechurch.us/groups), finding interesting Biblically-based content for us to dive into is easy. RightNow Media takes the burden of being a teacher away and lets us all focus on bonding with each other and prayer.
Our group has already seen multiple answers to prayer and the Holy Spirit moving among us. One group member asked us to hold her accountable for reading the Bible to her daughter daily. A couple days later as I was thinking about this request, the Holy Spirit said, “Matt, your own 10-year-old daughter is a prolific reader.” And since then, I’ve been encouraged to read with her, something for whatever reason, I’ve failed to do in the past.
Often it’s easy to overlook my own shortcomings. But these same things are nearly impossible to ignore as I pray and try to help someone else trying to push through a similar struggle. Teaching from the pulpit is where we get many of the tools we need to thrive, but a small group is really the place where iron sharpens iron.
What I want to share with anyone who might be afraid to join a group is that you need to just do it. Stop making excuses. Just go ahead and join because it will be one of the most rewarding things you do. Our group has already walked through some of the most extreme joys and most difficult storms, but we are there for each other. We're holding each other up. And, we're celebrating as a family. Stop waiting for a group to find you. Jump into one now!
How to Join a Group
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