Thursday, May 1, 2008

STUCK IN TIME

To help us understand the schedule changes for fall, I've asked some of my fellow staff pastors to provide input. In this blog Steve Little helps us understand the small group dynamic.


How does a person really grow? A psychologist once told me that when post traumatic syndrome occurs, the person who goes through a severe traumatic event sort of gets stuck in time. They continually repeat that event over and over again in their mind. It is only through processing that event effectively that they can put it in the past and move forward.
I believe this is true for real growth and development to occur in all of us. It is only when we have the opportunity to process the events and issues of life with other people that lasting transformation happens. It is when we take the truths of the Bible and process what God is telling us with other people that spiritual transformation occurs.
The ultimate goal of small groups for the Christian community is spiritual transformation, believers becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. To realize this goal, people need time to share and mentally process the difficult situations of life. They need to celebrate how God is working through and in their lives. The group must provide a safe place to build relationships, trust and pray for one another. The group also needs to provide a place for people to discover the truths of the Bible and to wrestle with how to live those truths out in daily life.
To create this kind of environment takes intentionality and time. How much time? If you were going to have a small group meeting in your home and the focus of the group was to accomplish the spiritual transformation mentioned above, how long would your group sessions last? I gave a group of our leaders who had the assignment to answer this question one Wednesday night and they all came back with a unanimous answer, 90 minutes. To provide this kind of environment takes more time than the typical Sunday morning Sunday School class. It all comes down to an unquenchable passion to see the lives of people really change. Join me in praying God will allow us the joy of seeing the Holy Spirit move among us.

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