Last Monday at small group our pastor came and interviewed the people in our small group about what small groups has meant to them and he showed a video he compiled of the interviews today during church. He was talking about how important it is to surround yourself with people who are committed to your spiritual growth and that you are committed to theirs. He talked about Proverbs 13:25 "He who walks with the wise will grow wise but a companion of fools suffers harm." Walks means shares life with. Wise means lives life skillfully. A fool is someone who doesn't live life skillfully. Suffers harm - even if you don't become a fool if you area companion of a fool when the grenade blows up in their life you will suffer harm.
An often quoted family phrase in the Whitings' family is "Your friends determine the direction and the quality of your life." How true this is. As I think over my life my friends at different phases have definitely had an impact on the direction and quality of my life, both positively and negatively.
We are truly going to miss North! God has used our time here in great ways and we have made relationships that I never want to lose. Small groups have been a huge part of that. We came to North because they had AWANA but we stayed because of the 9 non-negotiables and the relationships that we have formed through our small groups and other ministries we've been involved in. We have had the privilege to be a part of 2 small groups. Out group from last year was getting to the size that it needed to multiply in order for it to grow. Multiplication is painful because you lose the close connection with the people that were in that small group but we have been super blessed by it because we have been able to meet all of the people that you will see in this video who never would have been able to fit into our small group from last year and they wouldn't have been able to come anyway because of their school/ work schedules. We have had relationships like we have never experienced before and it has been so precious to have these amazing people impacting us and our kids as well as the privilege of impacting them. Small groups wasn't something that we were looking for in a church when we moved to Rochester but as a result of our time in our two precious small groups that we have loved so much we have grown a lot. Even if our new church does not have a small group ministry we will start meeting regularly with other believers in these kinds of purposeful relationships. Hebrews 3:12-13 says "See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." THE WAY to keep from having a sinful unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God is relationships. They are the only way to keep from being hardened by sin's deceitfulness. How thankful I am for the relationships God has brought into my life and the accountability and prayer support they have been. I don't ever want to be an island again!
Ok, I am done blabbing, you can watch the video now :)
Maas Small Group Interviews from David Whiting on Vimeo.