One of the few things I do well is connect people to each other, while they are finding their connection with God. And it was time, as we move to a new and innovative and more effective small group model, for me to connect a new group of folks in community.
So, tonight I said goodbye and let my group go on its own. In a way, it was a little weird. I mean, many of these friends live in my neighborhood - literally down the street and around the corner. So, it's not like I'm really going anywhere.
And yet, in another way, it was surreal. It really felt like a chapter was ending...and it was really hard. You simply can't do life with someone every week for four years and not be affected when you stop getting together.
What's interesting is that, by the end of the night, it was clear that they were going to be just fine without me. And, strangely, that's both sad and very satisfying, at the same time. It tells me that I've done the job I was called to do, and that our church is getting stronger.
Bill Hybels says that there is nothing like the local church when the local church is working right. I agree. And the small group is where the church is at its best. Of all the things we need to do well, continuing to assimilate people into great small group communities is at the top of the list.
If you are not in a small group, you don't know what you are missing.