Have you been wondering where this idea of Life Groups came from? It goes back all the way to John Wesley. Denise Robinson shares what bringing Life Groups to Trietsch has meant to her. Join us for our next launch party on May 7!
Chatterbox. Chatty Cathy. Parakeet. Yammerer. Babbling Brook. Rattletrap. These are all names I was called during my school years. (I am probably still called these names just not to my face so much anymore.) Almost every report card had a note from my teacher that said something like, "Denise is an excellent student but she talks entirely too much."
Hi. My name is Denise. I talk too much. Yet, I'm guessing that you would be surprised to learn that I dislike chit-chat, large groups, or talking on the phone. I like face-to-face conversation, and I like the conversation to mean something. It doesn't have to be deep conversation; I love to hear about your favorite movie or a great meal you ate. I just don't like meaningless "how's the weather" type conversations. Because of this, small groups and one-to-one conversations are very important to me…even when I talk too much.
Last year I read a book called "The Class Meeting" by Kevin M. Watson. The author shares the history of how John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Movement, required (yes, I said required) congregants to participate in a small group experience called The Class Meeting. These small groups gathered weekly and shared their answer to one simple question: How is your soul? Kevin Watson goes on to share how reclaiming this forgotten tradition strengthens relationships and helps us grow in our discipleship. This book impacted me greatly. This is the kind of conversation I was seeking. What if we had lots of groups in our own community? I was so moved that I actually contacted the author. I NEVER do that! We exchanged several emails and he even introduced me to churches across the country that were equally impacted by his book.
I invited a group of 12 people to join me in reading and studying this book to discern if this would be valuable at Trietsch. They were of varying ages and stages in their own Christian walk. Our journey together was very meaningful. I anxiously awaited every Thursday evening when we would discuss a chapter and analyze how that could look going forward. Life Groups became the Trietsch version of "The Class Meeting."
"How is your life with God?" A simple question. Some weeks my life with God is bubbling over with enthusiasm – I saw God at every turn. Some weeks I'm just going through the motions of living a Christian life and not really seeing God at all. Recently, I have been in what I describe as a drought: I'm seeing God at work here and there but I was feeling dry. Through sharing these real feelings with others, my own awareness of God increases. Even during my drought, I was aware of God's presence.
My husband Chris and I are leaders of a Life Group at our home on Sunday evenings. A group of people that we didn't know well or didn't know at all have come together to share how we have seen God that week. Sometimes our sharing is simple, "I've got nothing." Sometimes what is shared is really profound. It is real conversation. It is meaningful conversation. It is helping us to develop deeper relationships with each other and to work on developing a deeper relationship with God.
I'm thankful for my Life Group and I'm thankful for all of the Life Groups at Trietsch. If you want to know more about Life Groups or if you think you might be interested in leading a Life Group, contact me at email@example.com. After all, I love to talk!