We recently had our annual community group white elephant gift exchange party, which happened to be our last meeting hosting and leading a CG because of the impending arrival of our son. My wife and I were pleasantly surprised by our CG members with a boatload of parting gifts…a personalized and hand-crafted thank you card, a cookbook, a Batman graphic novel, three cake pops, two micro towels, and a visa gift card! WOW…such an assortment of love to meet all of our needs. In any case, the mood was a bit solemn for a Christmas party, but appropriate in allowing us to say our goodbyes, albeit we’ll be seeing them on Sundays.
I’m very thankful for the period of rest that we’ll be receiving, but I know there’ll be a restless void every Wednesday night because I don’t know what it feels like to not go to a small group every week. Since attending LFCC, the good Lord has graciously led the wife and I (back to when we were dating) to commit to a CG. Unknowingly, such a pledge to studying the gospel and serving others on a weekly basis has been one of the major elements in my walk with Christ.
This is where it all began…my first community group with Pastor Scott and Mary (my first real CG was actually Pastor Ro’s group at Bo’s house which transitioned into Pat Hickman’s group, but I wasn’t really committed because I loved watching LOST on Wednesday nights). I don’t really remember learning much during the Bible studies (lol), but it was more about the bonds that were strengthened each time we prayed for one another. Little did I know that such great and lasting friendships would be formed here, and the vision to serve young adults fresh out of college would carry through four years later.
After Pastor Scott and Mary had their first girl and moved down to Maryland, the baton was passed onto the wife and I. I was very scared and I don’t think I really understood half the things that I was saying, but I began to learn that community group was more than just studying God’s word, but also a place to experience the gospel by serving and praying and loving each other.
Over the years our CG transformed as some people moved on and new friendships were formed. It was a great time of learning how to live as a Christian adult in our pluralistic society. Out of this great group of people new leaders arose and two new CG’s branched off into Sunnyside and Bayside. The real story is that we had to kick them out to make room for these people…
no, not those guys…(but I learned a lot from them, and I can’t find a photo of the entire group)
The college group…which for obvious reasons quickly transitioned into the young adult group. I’ve never seen the Lord multiply and grow a group of people so quickly, both quantitatively and qualitatively. These people have such an infectious and passionate love for Christ that their vitality in the gospel refreshes one’s soul. It got to the point where after the college group branched off, the young adult group was forced to multiply into two groups only after four months of its creation.
And this is where our chapter ends today. We’re not sure if we’ll return to this group, we want to, but that’s up to God. In the mean time, we are speechless at how much has changed, but also in how constant and faithful the good Lord was in using such messed up people to carry out his plan. Although very difficult at times, it was quite the honor to have been involved in so many people’s lives, and I say with absolute certainty that I would not have learned about and experienced such great cooking and Jesus and the gospel without every single person on those weekly email lists.
<please reply back indicating if you plan on attending or not>
*if you would like me to take down your photo…too bad 🙂