Small group testimonies posts always seem to be favorites – and helpful too, to hear what’s going on out there. Some great reports are being shared early this fall, after just the first couple meetings.
1. Durr/Pritchard Group
Jeremy wrote this account of their group’s first meeting:
“Group started off really cool with a lot of engagement by asking “when you hear Holy Spirit, what comes to mind? What is your experience, or lack of any, with the Holy Spirit?” It sparked very interesting conversation, then we read the introduction from the book. I think every person in our group is intrigued and excited for this study. “
He then shared this about the Lake City Small Group Toolkits (which are available in the church office for every group member):
“Also, the toolkits were more useful than ever this year. We have someone signed up for quite a few roles for the group. I think one trick we used was writing everyone’s name on their toolkit with a big sharpie. More than one person said ‘I guess I really need to make sure I take this with me now that my name is on it!.’ I laughed inside and thought that was a helpful idea. No one left their toolkit behind! “
Haha, okay, so we’ll be sure that next year’s Toolkit cover includes something like this:
NAME (WRITE IN SHARPIE!):
2. Mathews/Zuniga Group
This brand new group is off to an impressive start. In their “small group covenant” conversation they decided to expand their meetings to allow time for eating a meal together every week. A few of our groups do the same. And while a weekly meal might not work for every group, there is no question that Jesus intended breaking bread together to be an inherent activity of His church.
These leaders are also committed to building relationships with their members throughout the fall by having each of them over for dinner; taking each of the men out to breakfast; serving together in mission, and every other way they can. Great job, group. Those are the beginnings good shepherding!
3. In a similar way, a different group leader emphasized how they will be shepherding each person/family in their group by having them over for dinner to discuss a specific path for their spiritual growth this year. For example, he plans on encouraging at least one family in his group to consider doing a short-term trip to Niger. This is a wonderful plan that should be considered by every leader!
4. Mark and Kelsey Wilkening have returned as small group leaders after getting The Father’s Heart ministry off the ground this last year. One striking thing the Wilkenings and their co-leaders, Jeremy and Hope Evarts, are experiencing with this brand new group is being a certain sort of microcosm of the larger church family. Many new faces fill our church since adding the Saturday night service last fall, and the Wilkening/Evarts group is filled with several of these new faces.
Mark says on the makeup of their group being representative of our church overall:
“It’s exciting to me to see all these new people being connected in community. It’s exciting that our group represents that. It’s not a group filled with our friends. This is kind of what our church is becoming. It’s been a blessing. It’s exciting from a leadership perspective. We barely know these people in our group, but yet we already sense a desire to connect with the Body and receive the encouragement and support that we want people to experience. We hope that in all groups, when people are going through difficulties that they will not bow out, but remain committed to working through life with others in the Body of Christ.”
Great job, small group leaders. Our Good Shepherd is pleased when we take our calling to care for His flock so seriously.
Blessings on your homes,