Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Sometimes I sense that my Christian acquaintances only want to get together to "share" their problems. Over time, it gets to seem like Christians, though they may wax joyful about God from time to time, are not particularly satisfied with their lives.The post's original author, Bob Spencer, then goes on to discuss learning to be content in all circumstance - a great lesson. But I think he is on to something in that set-up.
First, contentment equates to gratitude. We are not nearly grateful enough for the plenty that God supplies. When we are sharing, we need to share our grtitude as well as our desire. That's all about learning to pray.
But I know exactly what he is talking about and I think it is a problem in "forcing" community. So often we get together n small groups with people we don;t really like that well, because we are supposed to, so we need a "reason" to be together. Praying for problems seems to be that reason.
First of all, we need to learn ministry attitudes in small groups and that means learning to love people that we do not hang out with all that much. Which brings me to my second point. Most people we do not care for in a small group setting, we would probably like quite a bit, if we did in fact hang out with them more. Most small groups would be much better places if they invested in doing stuff just for the sheer fun of being together - go to a movie, play golf, the beach, snowball fight, whatever works.
Finally, small group formation needs to be less artificial. we need to allow people that are naturally attracted to each other to have a small group together. It's true, there are always going to be those individual that do not "fit" anywhere. The trick is for those that do like to hang out together not to be too exclusive. A group can accept a couple of peple that don't fit well provided the core is open and not exclusive.
It really is OK to hang out with people you like and whose company you enjoy.