I’m excited that Jeph is starting a new home group! Let me share some thoughts, Jeph — ideas, not prescriptions. I was going to share these with you in email, but I thought it might be good to post them here so that others can share their views. If we get into stuff that’s too personal to post then we can take it to email or instant messaging.
First, my pet peeve: a community of faith is much more than a meeting. Consequently, if you or any of the others come with the expectation that it is a commitment of one evening a week, not much will happen. Try to shape an identity that is larger than a weekly gathering. Yes, this will require more of you — and of everyone.
It takes time and commitment to break the meeting-centered mentality. We have shared meals together and have gone out just to have fun. But even with those things, it was only last week that our group really began to find life outside of our meetings. Thanks to Mike.
Mike is a dear friend who has experienced “seven-day-a-week” community before. Last week he got fed up and challenged everyone to stay in touch daily via email, sharing both the ups and downs our lives. He proceeded to send email to the group (which I reproduce here, raw and unedited):
how is or was everone day, how is your time w the big guy or how isn’t your time or do you feel like you don’t have time. do the gear in your head spin so fast you can,t handle one more thing? just let use know how your doing!! and feeling????? WE NEED TO KNOM. YOU ARE LOVED. ( welcome back jon )
This really got the ball rolling. I think the important thing is that it didn’t come from me or Kay; Mike is “just a member” who has stepped into a leadership role, probably without realizing it and certainly without anyone calling him a leader. I hope this encourages everyone in the group to lead out in their own way, so that the group is less “Jon & Kay’s group” and more “our group”.