I’m baack! Life happens faster than blogging; there’s so much I could write about… but I don’t want to blog at the expense of living. Well, let me talk about last Wednesday.
We went into our second home group meeting without a clear plan. I had printed up the lyrics of 3 worship songs. Kay & I had talked about encouraging the group to call each other and get together in 2’s and 3’s throughout the week. But that was about it.
I wanted to start with an opening question, because some people tend to shut up and let others talk and talk. An opening question helps balance that, because each person gets their chance to talk. It’s also important when people are just getting to know each other. I don’t like silly icebreakers like, “What’s your favorite food?” — that’s too low on the self-disclosure meter. On the other hand, “Tell us your most shameful sin” is too high. I leaned over to Kay and whispered, “What’s a good opening question?” She asked, “Well, what are we talking about?” I reminded her about how we wanted the group to be involved with each other outside of the Wednesday night meetings. So she came up with a great question. Let me outline the rest of the night (all according to our meticulous planning):
- Opening question: Tell us about the person who has had the greatest influence on your Christian walk. (This question by itself got people talking about the importance of 1-to-1 relationships.)
- Share the vision: With our group having been in existence for 1 whole week, I started with “Let’s do a 1-week retrospective” about how we had already gotten together a couple of times since the previous Wednesday. I talked about getting together, calling each other, and how it didn’t have to involve everyone all the time, just 2’s and 3’s. Kay was tucking in our kids. When she came back, I wanted to go kiss the children, so I joked, “Kay, take it from there.” She asked, “From where? I have no idea what you were just saying.” So it was utterly cool to have Mike jump in and say, “I’ll explain…” and exercise leadership while I ducked out.
- Worship: We sang 2 out of the 3 songs, but I tried to make room for people to sing or say their own thing outside of the written words. Then I said, “Let’s listen for anything God might want to say tonight,” and we had an extended time of silence. I find it easier to easier to do this by softly improvising on the guitar instead of having dead silence.
- At this point, I am used to having a couple people share impressions (usually words or visions), and this leads naturally into praying for each other. But no one said anything. I said that this was OK, because life is so busy it keeps us from sitting silently with God, just experiencing his presence. So we kept going in silence a bit longer.
- God takes over: Eventually, John said that he was thinking about the verse, “Be still and know that I am God.” This led to Teddy exhorting the group about letting God be God, and how he leads us in amazing ways if we will let him lead. This in turn led to Sherree sharing her incredible story of how God bailed her out of one impossible situation after another. Kay & I sat back and watched as each person, without recognizing it, exercised leadership. Everyone was blown away by Sherree’s story. I remembered what Todd Hunter wrote back in February about leadership involving “naming” things. So I said, “I’ve been trying to figure out what it is Sherree has that is so special. I think it’s the gift of faith.” At this point it was getting quite late, so Kay asked Sherree to pray over the rest of us, to ask God to impart more faith to us.
Sherree had to take off and the meeting was “done,” but it wasn’t done. A couple of people still wanted prayer, so we kept going…