Last night I walked into a room full of people. I had to laugh at the children running in circles, laughing and chasing each other. There were ladies setting out cups with ice and potato soup toppings, and men pulling out a few tables and chairs. I had a king cake in my arms so I was met with big smiles and offers to take it off my hands. This is my community group.
What is a community group? Okay, let’s be real, most of you have grown up in the belt buckle of the bible belt just like me, so you know all the churchy lingo. But give me a few minutes of your time and hear my thoughts 🙂
I started going to South City Church in the Spring of 2012. Birthed out of the vision of Lance and April Nicholson, South City is only about a year old. Lance and April have been mentors and friends of mine for several years now, so when I felt led to join up with them and become a member of this new church endeavor, I was excited for many reasons. Every week people gather for our service on Sunday nights, but throughout the week in different locations and different nights, people gather for a deeper level of ‘church’.
Funny stories, things we saw on Facebook, something hysterical the kids said..all these were passed around last night as we enjoyed potato soup brought by one of the ladies. One of the members of our group is having surgery next week and there was discussion on who could bring a meal over and who was going to visit and check on them. The kids later went to another room to hangout and play while we divided up the king cake and got into some more pointed discussion.
At South City, community groups typically discuss some questions related to the message from Sunday. Personally I love this because you don’t always get it the first time, you know? Sometimes you need to let the message settle and then go back and discuss it with others to gain better perspective and put it into practice. I learn a lot by hearing other people talk about what they have been learning and how they are trying (and failing) to live it out.
One of the passages we were walking through last night was Psalm 145. The question was posed ‘What memories of God’s greatness do you share with others?’
“When my dad lost his job, we didn’t know what was going to happen, but God provided and took care of us.”
“My husband and I were divorced and just got remarried, I’d say that’s pretty great.”
“I’ve seen God provide in crazy ways every time I’ve attempted to fund raise for a mission trip or some kind of project.”
“I felt led to go to Africa and my boss wouldn’t let me off, so I quit my job and went trusting that He would take care of me. When I came back I was offered a job I didn’t even apply for and since then everything has lined up better then I could have planned myself.”
Varied responses came from around the room. Different people, different ages, backgrounds, jobs, family situations…different levels of theological training, some Christians for years, some new believers…but we all have one thing in common-we are broken and needy people and God has over and over again poured out His grace on our lives. Because of that one commonality, we are able to come together, share about what He’s done in our lives, wrestle with tough questions, lean on each other for support and encouragement, gain advice and perspective…
This is my community group. This is my church. I’m thankful.
If you don’t have a community group or aren’t even sure about the whole church thing, we’d love to have you come visit and I’d love to talk with you more about my struggle with ‘leaving the church’ and my journey to get plugged back in. Find me on Facebook or email me at BeckWattier@gmail.com