More Stuff for the ‘Owner’s Manual’ (part 1)

This past Sunday, we continued our series on Why Small Groups?  We looked at 1Corinthians 12:12-27 and the larger principle that in Christ there is one body, but many parts.  But that the overall well-being of the body is dependent on each part OWNING their individual part.

 And that principle was applied specifically to Care Groups and the question was asked: How can each part – each member – of each care group OWN their individual part so as to contribute to the overall well-being of their whole group?

 And what followed was an “Owners Manual” giving each of us some direction on how to own our individual part in our care group.  But not everything in the Owners Manual made it into the sermon.  Instead, it’s making its way onto the blog.

 So here’s another one for the Owner’s Manual: Take advantage of and value the informal times.

 Another big theme that came out of the CG surveys was how much people enjoy the informal gatherings – the dinners, the Christmas parties, the game nights, the hang out times – the informal times that aren’t structured around a formal meeting.  Times where the group can just be together, share a meal, hang out, talk life, play a game, and get to know each other.  Those times often provide a context for people to open up freely with each other, get comfortable with each other, and learn about each other as people share stories about their life and history and who they are. 

 But those times also often contribute to a camaraderie and a friendship and a closeness that transfers over to the more formal meetings.   It fuels fellowship and openness and transparency as people feel like they know each other a little better and have shared a little bit more of life together.

 Just recently in my Mission 28 CG I had kind of felt like the discussions weren’t as rich as they could have been.  It dawned on me that there were a number of new people in the group, the dynamics had changed, and about half the group didn’t really know the other half.  So the next CG meeting we had a big Taco dinner where everybody brought something and we played some get-to-know-you games with all kinds of questions about your…

  • greatest memories, greatest fears, greatest hopes…
  • funniest stories from your childhood…
  • if you could be any character in the bible who would it be and why…
  • if you could ask God any one question, what would it be and why…
  • what’s the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done…

 …just to name a few!  But we learned all kinds of cool stuff about each other, and it was hilarious, informative, interesting, and built people together in a way that I believe transfers over to our more formal gatherings together.

In fact, we’re doing it again this Wednesday night!  New freshman in the group = another dinner and get-to-know-you party!

 So, if there’s personal application here for each of us to OWN on this one it would be:

 Number One – Don’t blow times like this off if your CG is doing something like this!  It very well may be what God uses to grow meaningful relationships in your group.

 Number Two – Be willing to host something like this for your CG.  Host a dinner.  Host a party. Host a game night.  It’d be a great way for you to OWN this point.  Even if you can’t host one, maybe you can initiate the idea with the rest of the group – provide some creative ideas – help plan the event.

 If you’re a CG leader, you may want to think about planning some of these – just use a regular meeting so you don’t have to add something to the calendar.

 But take advantage of and value the informal times!  They do more good than most of us realize and it’s just another way for each of us to OWN our part in a way that contributes to the overall well-being of the whole group!