Thursday, July 29, 2010

5 1/2 The Home Group Experience

For years I have attended small groups, or home fellowships as they are sometimes called. They are an interesting blend of intimacy, arm chair theology and the real Jesus. Here is my take on the anatomy of a home or small group meeting

-1 Worship: This is the time when we tell the Lord how much we love him in song. We praise him as the wight of the world lifts off our shoulders and we come into the presence of Almighty God. Err - get something to drink, take a large handful of chocolate covered pretzels because we skipped dinner, and make a plan for the soft couch instead of the miniature folding chairs from kids church.

-2 Unofficial Potty Break: On the 15th chorus of I Could Sing of Your Love Forever (how come no one dances to that song?) it's a good time to beat the rush. Beware, once someone gets up, it is a sign for others to make their moves for the coffee pot, the peanut dish and the brownies. It is a little bit like musical chairs. Some times, though, there is a line at the bathroom. Don't you hate it while others gossip fellowship right outside the door while you are trying keep things quiet on the other side?

-3 Teaching: Usually taught by someone that has read a recent Christian book such as My Utmost for his Highest. Then a discussion takes place on whether The Shack is biblical or not. Sister ratchet jaw states her point, and challenges some ex Marine with a camouflage zipper bible case. This is the "peace the surpasses all understanding" part. Regardless, it always runs over because the teacher is certain that those there aren't getting enough good teaching or their problems would be solved.

-4 Prayer: Is it me, or does it bother you when we pray for the OJ Simpson trial or whatever the current news is? I want to pray for the folks that are there, and the loved ones they are connected to. I don't care about the gulf oil spill when those that live right there in the same part of town are hurting. Don't these folks pray about this stuff in their own prayer closet?

-5 Fellowship: Ahh, now its time for a snack and a chance to get to know the brethren! What! Who ate all the brownies? Hypocrites! This is the time when old friends pair off, and and newcomers often sit in a corner wondering if this the right church for them. I'm so tired by this time, I skip to -5 1/2

-5 1/2 The ride home...

How about you, what goes on at your small group?


Charlie Chang said...

We had an awesome college and career bible study. But it took forever to go around the room for prayer requests cuz we would joke a lot.

Maybe that was a good thing though.

Ashley said...

haha! A lot of that can be true.

I attend a weekly Homegroup. We usually eat dinner, do worship, someone gives some sort of message, then we break up into small groups called "lifegroups". I think the best way to describe these are "let's do life together" groups and "let's be honest with eachother about what is REALLY going on" groups (ha...). Those are all same-sex of 3-5 persons.

Anyway, I think in my group everyone is really pretty in to the worship - there aren't too many getting chips or drinks or whatever. If you're not "in" to it, you mostly just sit there and no one knows.

I have been a little frustrated with the teachings at my homegroup as it's mostly all "well, this is my opinion of ____ doctrine/book/verse/idea". This summer, we've been discussing fear. Mostly, the leaders have been giving us their testimonies during the teaching portion and relating them to fear...most of them don't include much biblically - I wish they did, but I guess the main point of this group is "fellowship".

My group is very good about praying for eachother - we hardly ever pray for anything besides the people in our circle (those there and those not - friends in the community).

At the end, a lot of old friends do rush towards eachohter (or the couples) and the new people sit there in silence - though, I really try to go talk to them...I used to be in their shoes. I stuck around because I was really curious about these people (it's really different than anything I'd ever been apart of), but I think a lot of people come and don't come back 'cause they don't feel accepted. Cliques form everywehre though, I think that's a fact of life... *shrugs*

The ride home is always interesting. haha jk. :P

Alright, well, taht was waaaaaay too long of a comment. :P

David said...

@CC - man I would love to have an awesome home group. It's been a long time.

@Ashley - I see that you are having a god group. But you feel a need for deeper teaching - and those poor new folks. That's been me for 4 years.

You need to talk to the leaders and get them some fellowship. Come on now! ;o) Thanks for sharing.

2SenseWorth said...

My church hasn't planned any weekly homegroups that I know of, but they do monthly "cell groups" where folks gather at someones house Sunday afternoon in the 3 or 4 different regions surrounding the church where folks travel from. They usually consist of the same content described. When I've went I havn't noticed anyone being left out 2 often, though I do remember one time feeling that way myself. That's a great thing to watch out for with new or shy folks. We also do have weekly Sunday school classes before church on different topics, and they are considered small group fellowship-a more intimate setting to open up and get to know people better. And Hmmmm... I think I'd need some deliverance if that Home Group Guy dropped by my house haha..

bondChristian said...

You pretty much got it. I'd add Bible reading as that's pretty central to most of groups I've been involved in... I wish it were more so (in place of The Shack or Shaq discussions).

-Marshall Jones Jr.

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