Small Group: They Cleaned Our Bathroom



Hi There.  Renee here.  I have something that I can't help but tell you about small groups at Grace Fellowship Church.

They changed my life.

I mean, God changed my life through the vehicle of small groups, of course.

My husband and I had been part of a parachurch organization that seriously rocked.  That organization taught us to take our walk with God very seriously.  We started to believe that we'd never experience that depth of challenge and the richness of teaching in the local church.

Fast forward a bunch of years.  We ended up at Grace Fellowship Church after years of hunting for a church.  Years.  Dry and painful years.  Some folks introduced themselves to us on a Sunday morning and invited us to their small group.  We decided to go out and try one.  I'm going to be honest.  It was real awkward for us the first time.  Showing up at a stranger's home.  Sharing details of our lives with people we had never met.  Awkward in such a good way.  We stayed.

Over the years, we have had people from our small group bring us meals when were sick. We've brought them meals when they've similarly been in hard times.  People from our small group came and  cleaned our yucky-dirty bathroom when I couldn't get out of bed for months because of a crazy pregnancy.

I have been involved in and witnessed what it means to bear each other's burdens. The messy stuff alongside small group members...encouraging them to seek counseling, through miscarriages and through adjusting to motherhood.  The real stuff of life.

Sheryl Crow opens one of her songs, "This ain't no country club...this is LA."

Small groups ain't no country club.  It's the real, gritty, tangled stuff of life.  For me, it has meant opening up and sharing my story to encourage others.  It has meant putting people in the middle of the room in a chair and putting our hands on them and praying fervently for them as they endure trial.

It's so worth it.

Now, we receive calls from people looking for a small group to join.  I'm so sorry if you're on the other end of the line and I exuberantly run you over with a million reasons why small groups are awesome.  I'm trying not to do that (it's hard to not express it, you know?). For me, small groups haven't been just some side part of our Grace Fellowship Church experience. They've been very much at the core of our life-with-God experience.  I mean, the teaching from the pulpit is fabulous, but getting to walk that out in our daily lives is where it's really at.

Small group has been what's rocked my world about the local church.  Oh, wow, this stuff the Bible talks about is for real.  There are people that actually practice it!

So, in short: you need to go to a small group if you haven't already.  And stay long enough to be hurt.  Then, keep going.  Get into other people's lives.  Text them an encouraging verse.  Let them know you're praying with them.  Go clean their bathroom.  It's so worth it.  But, don't just take my word for it: the Bible calls us to.

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