Continuing my request for advice and sharing experiences with small groups, Mike Helms at Songs of Jesus had a great comment;
Here’s my advice… Don’t overthink it; don’t worry about these things so much! Just be glad that you’re gathering with God’s people, and don’t worry about whether it’s a “meeting” or not. It’s okay to have a meeting, it really is! It’s not the form that matters as much as that you are with God’s people and your desire together is for Jesus. How that “looks”; how that unfolds; is really limitless. It will depend on the people you meet with, and how God leads you.
There are too many “shoulds” and “should nots” that are out there. It’s funny, we leave the IC for these very reasons, and then impose a whole new set of what we should and shouldn’t do on ourselves- (many times the opposites of what the IC tells us that we should be doing). So the IC has one guy teaching? The home group says that’s bad! And so on… I understand your desire to be “free flowing” but having some kind of structure doesn’t have to ruin that. It could even help it.
When my wife and I started out as you are right now, I took the road of not wanting to run things to such an extent that I had my hands off everything. I couldn’t understand why our gatherings were going nowhere. I prayed about it and felt God told me to step up and lead. As soon as I did, everything started to fall into place. My desire for a “every member” gathering was still just as strong, but I learned an important lesson- I will not let my own, or other people’s, “should and should nots” get in the way of doing whatever it is God wants to do.
There all these expectations that people will put on you about what you should and shouldn’t be doing when you gather. You know what? There is very little written in stone. You are free in Christ! The best advice I can give you is walk in that freedom and quit worrying about all this stuff. Enjoy your brothers and sisters in Christ, love the Lord, walk in His truth, seek His mind- and you’ll be going the right direction.
I think I’ve put a ton of expectations on myself. This was great advice to stop worrying. And Mike’s comments are another reminder that it’s not a bad thing to be a leader. You just have to know your place, and stay there.
Thanks again Mike.