There’s something different about this group.
Those are the words spoken (or thought) almost every time we are together. About a year ago, I was asked to be a part of a “discipleship journey” with seven other women leaders. These women never cease to amaze me. Whether they are leading in HR, directing a news station, serving as an executive pastor, or resourcing church planters across the globe, to say these women are high-capacity leaders is the understatement of the year. While the hours they spend leading is impressive, what is more impressive is their deep commitment to their faith in Jesus and their love for their family and friends.
We began gathering in-person several times per year (unless, well, COVID-19 keeps us apart) almost a year ago for what our fearless leader, Janie, often refers to as a “recalibration.” Recalibration has manifested in lots of laughter over a progressive dinner, lots of tears over painful life circumstances, and lots of learning from each other’s life experiences. We all come from very different stages and seasons of life, but there is a safety in our group that comes from being a part of the family of God and our commitment to vulnerability. When we stop and let God do the recalibrating, we get to watch and see miracles happen in one another’s lives.
Let’s be honest, our lives can often use some recalibration. And I would say, it is nearly impossible to recalibrate alone. I have spoken the words, “What do I do?” about this or that to this group and watched these women lean in and pray it out with me. Or, one of them shares a life lesson that is eminently profound – something I could never have come up with on my own. Or, another woman points me to a passage of Scripture that’s a Word of God tailormade for me.
You may be reading this thinking, “I could never find a group like that.” Or, “a group like that scares me.” To the first sentiment, I would say, with a little bit of intentionality, the group might be closer than you think and the group might also not be who you think. The disciples Jesus chose did not do a “connection” litmus test before becoming His disciples. They simply said yes to following Jesus, and the group formed for them. Mission came first, community second.
To the second sentiment, I would say, vulnerability is scary (Brené Brown would agree with me). I have not met one person who enjoys it. I unashamedly hate it because I am not one with a low fear of failure. I actually live with a lot of “what-ifs” floating around in my head, but I “do vulnerability” because I am more scared of life without it. I would rather risk rejection to my vulnerability than risk missed connection to my lack of vulnerability.
A group with vulnerability pressing into the mission of Jesus is the heartbeat of the church. My prayer is that we would be that kind of church. We would be made up of groups filled with people like the seven women in my discipleship journey—people willing to be vulnerable.
Vulnerability can take time in relationships. There might be multiple shared experiences before even a hint of vulnerability, but when one is willing to go first, others will follow. As a leader or participant in at least 15 small groups, I have watched it time and time again. Take this opportunity to press into Jesus, take a step of vulnerability, and recalibrate.
As you consider your next step of faith, I would encourage you to consider a group. A great place to start is ROOTED, our ten-week on-ramp to a small group environment where you can grow in biblical exploration and practical learning experiences.