It is no secret that I am a staff member of a small church plant. I have a heart for small groups, community groups, life groups, whatever you want to call them. I believe that they are some of the greatest definitions of church alive today. They help us along the journey of life. We ought to foster the environment and allow people to bond and experience a deep level of community. I believe in this so much that our house often hosts a small group at least once a week. Even more so, I have agreed to lead the one currently taking place there. However, it is not working exactly the way I would have thought.
You would think that someone who feels at ease getting up and proclaiming a message in front of a large group of people would be able to lead a conversation among a handful of people. It is turning out to be one of the most difficult tasks in church work that I have signed up to do. There could be multiple reasons for this though.
The first is that I have only led one week. It is too early to write this off as something I should never do, but right now I feel like it is headed that way. Rather than thriving like I thought I would last week, I stumbled through it. It was not beautiful, but I was able to make it work. I am hoping that tonight’s group will be easier and a better experience for both me and those attending.
Another reason that it is hard is that it is extremely small. The week the study started, three people showed up. Two of us happened to live in the same house. Last week we grew to four, but we still only represented two households. Hopefully with at least two or three other people, the experience will be better.
A final reason that I think it may not be working out the way I thought it would is because, I may be operating outside of my gift. I certainly feel I have a gift of speaking and am quite comfortable talking to a large group of people, but just because one has the gift of speaking does not mean that one has the gift of teaching. Although the two kind of go together, I believe one can be a preacher and not a teacher just the same way as one can be a teacher and not a preacher. Right now I feel more at home on a stage speaking than I do leading a small group of people in my own home. Whether or not this will be the case, I am not sure. Ephesians chapter four tells us that there are multiple gifts and we ought to function within them. Right now I cannot decide if I have a gift for leading small groups. I am sure over the next few weeks it will become more clear.
Are you involved with a small group? Does your church have small groups? What do you call those groups? Have you ever suffered through a group study with a leader who obviously shouldn’t be leading it?