It has only been about 2 weeks since I shared about feeling disconnected. How good God is to hear my heart's cry! His answer came in the form of Life Groups; let me explain.
Our precious pastors have felt impressed to start Life Groups within our church. This involves a daily Bible reading, and a bi-weekly meeting to talk about what you're learning. Although this sounds boring to some, it is actually very cool to hear a variety of interpretations based on the same reading! Our group started off with a potluck evening, where kids were welcome to attend; my little guy had a great time!
I am thrilled about this because it accomplishes a number of things for me. First, it inspires me to read my Bible in a dedicated manner. (I confess I have been terrible at this on my own! I started a one-year reading plan almost 3 years ago; I am only a little more than half done!) Second, this group allows me to connect regularly with people outside of my home. It is a way of getting to know people I would otherwise see only once a week or in passing on the highway. Connecting on a regular basis ensures none of us feel alone, and all are encouraged.
I wish I had been introduced to this concept in my younger years! I have placed a number of complaints over cliques in the church community, but I see now that is not entirely accurate. It is my hope that our group becomes tightly knit; that does not mean we will ignore or mistreat other congregation members each Sunday! It simply means we will form safe places for each other, and make sure nobody is left behind.
By the way ... you do not need to be a member of our church to attend the groups. So if any of my local friends are reading this and would like to hang out with a group of crazy people for coffee on a Friday night ... I know a few. ;-)