Kay & I had come up with a good plan for this week’s home group gathering. The Sunday sermon was on the tabernacle, focusing on allowing God to lead you through the stages of your journey instead of focusing solely on the destination. So we were going to talk about the different stages of a group, and how we would probably enter a stage of conflict as we begin to change things. Our hope was to prepare the group to cope with change… and then explore the idea of meeting in triads or triplets during the week.
That was the plan. Here’s what happened instead.
Our kids have been suffering from stomach pain for weeks now. The doctor says we need to curb dairy products for a while, and that seems to work — but some dairy snuck in on Wednesday. You can look at things through a strictly physical, scientific viewpoint, but there is also a spiritual dimension to things.
So on Wednesday, I was still puzzling over what to do for an opening question, when Kay interrupted (in the midst of caring for our children) to ask the group to pray for us, right then. We shared what’s been going on, and then the group laid hands on us and prayed.
Now we happened to be a smaller group than usual with several people absent. I liked what had just happened with the group praying for us. So I decided to chuck our plans and go with the “standard meeting” that works so well with smaller groups: Tell us how your week has been. Briefly share what’s been going on, what has God been up to, where do you need prayer. …OK, so let’s pray for you.
We shared laughter and pain. Counsel was requested and given. The entire meeting consisted of nothing but this rhythm of share-pray, share-pray. Some deep things were shared, and the group drew closer together. It was wonderful.
But it also took until 10 o’clock, even with our smaller group. So Kay & I then explained that this was great, but we simply can’t do this with a dozen people. In order for everyone to share, receive prayer, and pray for others, we’ll have to break into smaller units — triplets. And with just 3 people, it’s easy to do this in a short time, even over lunch. (Kay pointed out a funny thing: all the ladies were enthusiastic about getting together in little groups over lunch, while all the guys seemed kind of cool about the idea. Is it because ladies are better at sharing?)
So God got us to the triplet vision after all, but he did it his way.