Friday, June 14 2024 - 3:47 AM
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Small Group Awakening

I can’t imagine where I would be if it were not for my small group. I remember one of my first visits. Rebecca, an acquaintance of mine, was brand new to Orlando and wanted to connect with some folks to praise God and to fellowship. Until her home was ready,  she stayed for a few days at the Circle of Friends Home run by my mother.

It was Friday night, and my Mum asked if I would take Rebecca to the Friday Night Group [FNG] in Celebration. I was not thrilled, but I attended the gatherings anyway. I continued, off and on, going to these home-based get-togethers, each time feeling uncomfortable. It was not for lack of warmth or acceptance from the group but rather because of my feelings about myself.

I felt awkward. I felt like I was wearing a huge sign, “Big Sinner Over Here!” “Unclean, Unclean, Approach At Your Own Risk!”

Fear blinded me. I was so blind, and I knew it. I also wore this cloak of darkness around me repeating all the negative insults I had heard through my life and believing the lies of the evil one. “You are a horrible daughter, sister, mother, friend, employee… You don’t measure up. And even if you did try to change, it’s all fake.” I did not want to change for fear of “too much, too soon.” People might think I was a phony for making such an incredible change.

Wanting to Change

But as I continued to go, I began to see some changes in me. As I watched others being vulnerable and experiencing acceptance, I, too, wanted to be free of “my baggage.” I wanted to change my sad life and trade it for much more.

At Friday Night Group, I began to share even though I was terrified. I began to read the Bible, God’s Word, even though I did not always understand. Eventually, I began to come out of my shell, even though it meant feeling the fear of being unsafe or insecure. I began to pray even though I did not believe my prayers were heard.

It took me a while, but I finally wanted to be where God was bringing me, first into His arms, then into the arms of those who prayed and supported me—my small group. It felt good to cry, to receive those hugs, to receive those prayers, and to begin to understand the Word. I began to see.

I began to see that God had a purpose for me, and He was using small groups to fulfill it. He knew that a “big churchy program” and “super holy pretense” would overwhelm me and cause me to run far away.  He purposed a small group’s safe intimacy and secure place to change me—to give me a vision.

The Journey Continues

Fast forward four years from that first Friday night small group; changes abound in my life. I started a small group in my home on Thursday nights. In my small group, I recommitted my life to Christ and decided to be rebaptized. I shared my baptism day with five of my small group members, all being baptized together. It was like having our small group in the water!

Sharing God’s vision in a small group brings change. And if only one person is changed, it is worth the effort. I can say this because it has changed my life!

If you liked this, you might also like That Church | Expect Transformation In Your Small Groups 

Written by Dawn Thomas.

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