A month ago, Sophie and I shared the news that I accepted a job as the D-Groups Pastor at Long Hollow Church and joined the Training Team with Replicate Ministries. This decision has been the hardest decision of our lives as we uproot from a place we love and move away from friends, family, and a church that means the world to us. (We share our gratitude and love for The Chapel in this video.) Along with the sadness of leaving, we are excited and honored to serve at Long Hollow and start this new adventure in the Nashville area.
The transition process has been difficult, but sweet. I greatly underestimated the breadth and depth of emotions that come with transitioning from a place you love so deeply. I have felt excitement, sadness, peace, turmoil, curiosity, cynicism, courage, fear, and much more. Through all of the pain and celebration, God has lovingly given me three lessons that I am reminding myself of daily.
Have you ever been in a small group discussion that you wish you weren’t? One of the members monopolizes the time by answering and responding to every person. Another person thinks he is Mr. Fix-It as he gives the whole group unsolicited advice on how to fix everybody’s issues but his. Another member has a special ability to casually bring up every hot button issue and leave everyone cringing. And then, of course, you have the person who derails every conversation by throwing into the discussion a “theological grenade” like, “What’s everybody’s thoughts on predestination and free will?”
If you have been a part of a small group for more than a couple of weeks, you most likely have experienced an awkward group discussion. Though we cannot prevent every awkward moment from happening (see why here!), we do want to have a healthy discussion that benefits all its members. We want to provide a safe and authentic place where people can be real and honest and truly encounter Jesus Christ. Here are guidelines that you can give to help foster an environment where this can happen.