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How to Embrace the Awkwardness of Your Small Group

by TodayDigitNews@gmail.com
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Oh, did you think you were the only one with an awkward small group? A small group that dutifully meets regularly but still feels like a stranger? A small group that looks like a motley crew with availability?

Well, rest assured, you are not the only one experiencing this. Sometimes a small group just “clicks” and that’s great. But the group that didn’t click has high hopes. If your group is in this situation, it’s not because you’re doing something wrong. In fact, it is the nature of God to create the most beautiful relationships out of the most unlikely circumstances.

Consider the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). God did not confuse everyone’s language. I could not do it built the tower they wanted.God confused their language so they could build a tower correct way– by seeing each other’s completely different points of view!

So if your group feels outdated, superficial, or just plain awkward, try these four practices to inject more love and patience into your group and see what God can do. .

1. Embrace your awkwardness

You know, inside the church we are supposed to be as close as a family. So while grinning, you might be tempted to pretend that your group feels very close, or feel ashamed that you don’t.

But nothing to be ashamed of. Relationships are difficult and take time. So instead of pretending to be your family or giving up completely, accept yourself for who you are.

Look at your group and ask yourself, if they didn’t have God in common, who would be a natural friend? If the answer is no, what a glorious situation for God!

The answer also verifies why the connection became so difficult. So accept that “no”. Give God time and space to build lifelong friendships out of this awkward silence.

Make it comfortable to be uncomfortable. What I’m saying is, admit your awkwardness so you can move forward honestly without shame. And celebrate that awkwardness. Because God is going to get great glory from now on.

2. Plan Fun and Spiritual Times

One of the frustrations of many small groups is that people don’t feel open. You want to be the vulnerable, open, loving community that God has invited you to be. But whenever there is an open-ended question about the Bible or a prayer request, there is always an awkward silence.

It seems counterintuitive for a small group of people to spend time together that isn’t spiritually focused, but it helps the group feel they really know and open their hearts to the people they are with. may be exactly what you need.

Some people need to have deep conversations in order to relax and enjoy themselves. But some people need to have fun before trusting them deeply. So planning a spiritual or fun time can be very helpful for the group.

In addition, it gives the group an opportunity to find common ground and love individual people. Even if someone’s interest is totally awkward at first, it becomes a lot of fun when the group commits to it.

Is there someone in your group who really likes obscure animated movies that no one has heard of? Instead of ignoring this person’s interest, explore it as a group. You will have fun and bond by doing something new. And those who have it’s favorite movies will feel very special that their interests are noticed and respected.

Is there someone in your group who is really athletic but the rest of the group isn’t? Plan a low-stress volleyball game or bowling night. The more you try new things, the more you will see where the Venn diagram of your interests overlaps.

Of course, when you have the opportunity to share what you are learning from the Bible or a prayer request, please take this opportunity. But just like a family, let’s vent the stress in groups and come together as whole people.

3. Start, start, start

Oh, what a wonderful world it would be if every relationship you were in met with you at 50/50. Or, even better, everyone reached out to you. Unfortunately, the real world is not.

people are busy People worry about their families, their finances, their dogs. They may want to get to know you, but they’ll never get the chance to find out unless you contact them. That’s just the reality.

So if no one in your small group wants to spend time with you or get to know you as a person, don’t take it personally. Maybe they really want to, but I shy away from them week after week. So pick up the phone!

And do it again. and again. and again.

Relationships take a lot of time and effort. This is great. Because God loves us without expecting anything in return. So take care of yourself and meet your relationship needs elsewhere, but be as patient as you can and reach out without expecting anything in return.

If someone prefers to spend one-on-one time, ask them to meet at your favorite coffee shop. If you have someone who likes large groups, plan a game night. Be like Jesus and meet people where they are. (If you don’t know what people like, just ask. That alone goes a long way.)

4. Tackling long distances

If you’re like me, you want instant results. Even if you have a fun conversation with someone once, when you’re not your best friend, you get annoyed. When things like this happen, you have to remember that good things take time.

Relationships are one of God’s creations and take a long time to grow. You don’t plant a seed and expect to eat a meal from it the next day. He doesn’t put $100 into his savings account and expect to be a millionaire overnight. good. thing. I took time.

To make this bearable, think about the really big things that God has done in your life that have taken so much of your time. You may have endured sleepless nights trying to complete your degree. Or how many diapers your toddler had to change before he was finally potty trained. Or all the phone calls you had to make before your girlfriend finally moved to your town and was with you.

The process can feel overwhelming, but the rewards are great. The same is true for relationships, especially groups that naturally don’t have much in common.

Resist the temptation to compare where you are now to where you were a week ago. Instead, think back six months, or even a year ago. Do people at least smile when they look at each other instead of shrugging their shoulders? Is there at least a little casual chat before the text you are discussing is read?

Soak in those small victories and be assured that God hasn’t finished your group yet.

you haven’t done anything wrong You are not less spiritual, you are not less worthy. You are a group of humans who, like everyone else, need a lot of time, love and patience.

So try to enjoy the process while embracing the awkwardness. It’s really getting better.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Andrei Popov

Kelly Jane McGlynn Former editor of Crosswalk.com. She sees the act of expression, whether writing or art, as a way to co-create and experience God more deeply.Check out her handmade earrings Instagram and Etsy Learn more about her thoughts on connecting with God through creative endeavours.

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