In a previous post we began to look at why people don’t join small groups…catch up here.
5. “I don’t need to be in a small group.”
Some people think that community is ok for other people, but not something they really need in their lives. Now, I want to make it clear that I am not saying that people who aren’t in a small group aren’t Christian or something. God created us to be in community. If you are not in community with other believers, you NEED to be. But, if you have your own community outlet where you find accountability, Christ-like love, and Christian friendship – hats off to you. You have taken responsibility for your own growth. Most don’t do that. A healthy small group provides that outlet for you. You need it, take advantage of it.
6. “I don’t have time.”
There was a time after our daughter was born that my wife and I were struggling a bit balancing home, work and marriage. I finally said to Katie, “We have got to get away and spend some time together.” She responded, “We can’t afford to do that.” And I said, “Honey, we can’t afford not to.” Community life is something we can’t afford not to do. I totally understand that our time is our greatest resource. We are so conscious of our time. To really get down to understanding what people’s priorities are you have to look at how people spend their time. If time is our greatest resource, it is time to start reinvesting time in community life to bring about growth in other areas of life. Some of us shun community in small groups because the kids’ activities won’t allow for it. Your kids need you to be their rock. How do you do that? Only with support from other believers. They don’t need to be well-rounded or involved with another extra-curricular activity…they need you to be strong in Christ. That takes time you can’t afford not to spend.
7. “I don’t know what to do with my kids.”
This could be its own post. I hear this all the time, not only from parents but from small group leaders. Someone once told me, if you can’t figure out how to have a single mom with 3 kids in your small group, it isn’t community. Groups have to figure out how to manage kids. God created us all as creative beings. Think outside the box and have options for childcare. Don’t let people slip through the cracks because they can’t figure out what to do with their kids. In our groups we offer choices.
1) Hire childcare. We do this by utilizing responsible teenagers on site.
2) Let older kids in the group be responsible for younger ones. Obviously this doesn’t work for babies.
3) Share the responsibility. Community also means serving one another in this way. Just because you aren’t taking part in the discussion doesn’t mean you aren’t taking part in community. This means inside your group or even better, volunteer to help another group. Small group leader…Don’t let this issue kill your groups, and don’t underestimated it because it could kill your groups.
8. “My spouse won’t come with me.”
You are important too. No disrespect to a non-participating spouse, but you have to take responsibility for your growth. As leaders we have to encourage these folks that their spiritual growth is important independent of your spouse. We have to encourage them to get in a group as long as it doesn’t cause disunity in their marriage. And…Never close the door on the spouse’s participation in the group. Pray…love…invite them both over for food. Who knows what God will do?
What are some others? What experiences have you had with any of these?