Life is Better Connected — By Trent Rash
“You can’t do what God has called you to do alone.” There it was on the page, hitting me like a Mack Truck and finally helping it all to make sense. I am referring to some reading I was doing about small groups when I started to prepare to train our first round of resident parishioners to become small group leaders. This line, however, also greatly challenged me, someone who has always been quite independent and more comfortable to “go it alone.” The truth, however, is that just doesn’t work. We need people along the way, people to hold us up or call us to move forward or simply give us a warm, meaningful hug. All of these things, anchored around Scripture, take place in a weekly small group. You get to create real relationships with real people.
Lisa Rose and I just finished our third round of training small group leaders for the launch of the second year of Resident Small Groups here at Newman. Our first year saw six groups grow in friendship and faith, so much so that five of them are still meeting regularly. The leaders and their members learned quickly that sharing their stories with others is life giving and life changing. One group even had an anointing of the sick ceremony at their meeting. Another grappled with racism and the Church’s call to love all people. In the end, though, they all were learning how to better follow Jesus and live out his mission in their everyday lives.
You may ask me, why join a small group? Because God has designed us for relationships, and through those relationships we learn to grow in faith and love. The conversations revolve around God’s Word. God’s Word can change our minds and hearts. And thus, these conversations can change our lives. They have changed mine. I have been inspired and challenged by the stories that have been shared in the small groups I have had a privilege to sit in. So I ask you, why not join a small group? Life is truly better connected.