One of our dear small group friends keeps a journal of our group's prayer requests. It was amazing last night, as he reminded each of us where we were just a year ago. I would have to say we have seen God in action among each of the families in our group over the past year. We saw a family sell a too-small house and move to a lovely family home (and it's a good thing, as they are now expecting their third baby!); another family has experienced the joy (and a few trials) of raising a teen-age daughter and a baby daughter; another family has experienced blessings at work, delightful daughters and the mom's move from part-time to full-time teaching; our own family has covered a lot of ground over the past twelve months, too....And all of this by God's provision and direction.
I would like to share a bit about small groups. Our church is called Rocky Mountain Christian Church. It's a big church, and now we have two campuses. I work at the church as the small groups coordinator. We currently have about ninety groups, each with around twelve members. I have the privilege of training leaders and equipping groups, helping new leaders launch new groups, helping folks get connected in groups and more. Here's what our small groups are about:
My big love for small groups stems from a personal love for small groups...most love is pretty personal, huh? Here's a bit of history: Dave and I have been involved in small groups since we got married. But nearly fourteen years ago, God used small groups at Rocky Mountain Christian Church to change our lives forever. We were new to Colorado, having moved here for Dave to participate in his dream of working for a start-up. He was delighted with his transition from big company guy to start-up guy. On the other hand, I was miserable and lonely. We didn't know anyone here. I had had a good job in Kansas City, but elected not to continue with the company here in Colorado. I thought I would find an entirely new kind of job instead, but what I actually found was that I was pregnant.
Being pregnant was a delight, something we had been hoping for for over a year. But I knew I wanted to stay at home with our kiddo(s), so getting a job wasn't really a good option. I spent much of my days gestating alone and feeling lonely. We had visited several churches, but none of them seemed like "home."
I was so lonely and so afraid to have a baby with no friends and no family nearby. I began to pray that God would give us a "home" by the time our daughter was born. One Sunday, we were driving to another church, and we drove by Rocky Mountain. On the spur of the moment, we decided to pull in and give Rocky Mountain another try (we'd been there before and graded it a "no.")
About three years ago, when our "baby" (that would be Abby) went to first grade, and I found myself with too much time on my hands each day, I decided to return to school and get a master's in social work. No sooner had I applied and was accepted to the University of Denver's (super-expensive) program, did RMCC offer me a job in the small groups ministry.
It was pretty much a no-brainer. God, and all He does in and through small groups, is my heart. So I have had the joy and high calling (for which I am not worthy) to work in the ministry for a few years now. In this super-transient world, small groups are an amazing tool for helping people build community and grow in their faith.
I don't know where our family would be without our small group. Who else would keep our kids on a moment's notice? Or better yet, meet us on I-25 early in the morning to take some of our kids as we raced Amelia to Children's Hospital? Decorate our house as a "welcome home" to Amelia? Love us and pray with us and laugh with us and cry with us? Take us to Estes Park to watch the Fourth of July fireworks? Make time in busy, busy lives to be together each Friday night? Love our kids almost as much as we do?