Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Not Sure How I Feel

(I was asked to post on our church's blog during our 40 Days of Community campaign. Here is what I wrote.)

As my wife and I were reading the 40 Days devotional a few nights ago, a thought popped into my head. I wondered if this whole idea about small groups is a little biased. You see, I'm an extrovert, which means that I like having a whole lot of "friends," but to only get involved at what could best be called a shallow level with them. This extrovert-ness is a part of who I am, it's how I roll. So now, I'm supposed to cast aside that part of me that is integral to who I am so that I can invest and be invested in at a deep level. I struggle with that, to be honest. Could there not be a way for the extroverts among to be built up spiritually and to invest in each other that doesn't look like small groups and deep conversations? That is what I have been thinking.

But maybe, what is really at the core of the matter is that I really don't want people messing in my stuff. I know who I am, and there are times that I don't like that person. Why in the world would I want to get involved in doing life with someone else so that they can also know what a cruddy guy I can be? It's risky. It's scary. Maybe they'll find out who the man is behind the curtain and reject me or, worse yet, throw the curtain wide open for others to see. It's a gamble. But the fact of the matter is that God never promised that living in community would be easy or painless. Proverbs 27:17 tells us, "Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another." Iron is sharpened without the influence of anything else. Rather, it is sharpened when it comes into violent contact with another piece of iron. If iron could feel pain, it would probably reject the proposal of being sharpened in much the same way that I reject the idea of deep community in my life. But regardless of my rejections, if I want to be and stay sharp, it's what I need.

I remember being in a small group while at seminary. I joined it when I was going through a difficult time from a failed relationship. That small group was life to me! I had no idea that I would get to the level of intimacy that I did and share the things I shared. It was scary, and risky, and a gamble. But when I took the risk, the rewards of growth and relationship far outweighed it. The risk is worth it. Now, I just need to keep telling myself that...

Fitz, Youth Pastor


gmw said...

Great reflection, Fitz. Thanks for the offering. I'm getting back into the rhythms of a covenant group here in Houston and its been good. Sometimes you don't realize the extent to which you've missed it until you get back in.


kate said...

Strange that this is exactly what we talked about at my small group last night. Hope you are well.

Scooter 4.0 said...

Mike! I joined a small group once. Two divorces resulted from my wonderful experience. It was more draining on me than any youth group EVER! BE WARNED! Commit to 40 Days of TRIBE! It is safer!