I like plans. At work, I pride myself on having a plan and instructing others to do the same. On a day off at home, I like to know what we’re doing together as a family and when. Even on a recent vacation, I kept asking my wife what we were going to do each day. Needless to say, spontaneity is not in my vocabulary.
As an introvert, I feel less comfortable when I am surrounded by people, even if it may be good for me. It is particularly challenging for me to be part of a group of people who are willing to be open, to talk about their lives, to support each other, and to live out the words of Acts 2 and Hebrews 10.
Luke wrote in Acts 2:42-47 about the way the early disciples lived, devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, sharing meals, meeting together, worshipping together, and even sharing their possessions.
Again in Hebrews, the author encourages the church there to continue those practices.
24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
I have been fortunate to be involved in a few meaningful groups in my time as a Christ-follower, with the most recent one being a CedarCreek Group. Last winter, my friend Andy invited me to join a newly forming group that was set to meet at the Black Cloister. I immediately said yes, partly because we’re friends and I was excited to join a group with him but also because of the opportunity to meet other men from church (and to sample a different beer each week).
I had attended the church for a couple years, but I hadn’t connected to many people because I am not a spontaneous, outgoing person who will walk up to strangers and introduce myself. But in that group, 10 to 12 men were able to come together to study the Bible and engage in meaningful conversation. Even though we only met for one semester, we continue to pray for each other through an ongoing group message because, as Jesus said, “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20).
What is keeping you from joining a Group?
What are your expectations of a Group and from a Group?
How will you decide which Group to join?
Join a Group. Take a risk and step out of your comfort zone. Fortunately, at CedarCreek, everyone can find a Group that fits his or her needs, from young married couples with children, to basketball enthusiasts, to those who are single again. Check out cedarcreek.tv/groups to find the Groups Directory and contact the host to get connected.
God, help me to find the right Group to challenge me, to welcome me, and to help me find the answers to my questions. I ask that you will use the Group to help me develop authentic relationships, rooted in Christ, that will spur me on toward knowing you better. Amen.
This post was written by Ryan Cook. Ryan is an executive director for two Chick-fil-A restaurants in Toledo, so if you see him at church and think he looks familiar, that’s where you know him from. He is married with a son and a daughter. Follow him on Twitter @CookfilA.
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