Friday, December 24, 2010

Three Gifts

It’s Christmas Eve. Time to celebrate the coming of the Baby King! Time to follow the lead of wise men and worship the Christ Child. These Magi sought out Jesus, worshipped him, blessed him with gifts (Matthew 2:11).

In this holiday blog entry, I’m following the Magi’s lead. I come bearing gifts. Obviously, not for the Baby Jesus. Instead, I come bearing three gifts for a special group of Jesus’ followers—small group leaders.

This Christmas, I want to bless every small group leader with three important items for small group health in the coming year. Here goes:

1. Commitment
This has to be the number one threat to small group life in 2011. Let’s be honest; people are over-committed. You are. I am. We all have too many good things going on in our lives.

Whether it’s your son’s basketball game, your daughter’s piano class, or your spouse’s office dinner party—everything seems to be fighting for our time. We try to carve out time and space for Christ-centered small group and find it a challenge to be faithful to our weekly or even bi-weekly commitment.

What gives? Too often, the small group and the relationships within are the first thing to go. Ouch!

In our world of too many options, I give you the gift of commitment. It’s not a perfect attendance badge, rather a gift that whatever schedule you and your group can agree upon—you have people who are willing to put commitment into action.

2. Communication
Who doesn’t like to know what’s going on? Whether we’re talking about a board meeting or a basketball game, a financial statement or a family situation—everyone likes to be in-the-loop.

Small group leaders and small group members alike could use this gift. Too often we assume that everyone knows when the next small group meeting is, or that you won’t be there because you have family in town. Not so!

Encourage everyone in your small group to make the extra effort and communicate. A phone call, a text, an email, anything that keeps you connected amidst the busyness is a good thing for the health of your small group.

3. Christ
This is the best gift of all! And not for the obvious “church” answer that you might expect.

The gift of Jesus into a small group really shakes things up. He makes things happen. He transforms peoples lives, marriages, families—entire small groups!

As Jesus takes His rightful place at the center of your small group, you will experience dramatic changes! The fruit of the Spirit will be present in people’s lives in tangible ways. You’ll pray more in-tune with the heart of God. You will begin to witness God at work more specifically.

Jesus is the bond that links believers together. Welcome Him into your group anew this holiday season.

May you and your group receive—and enjoy—these gifts!

Have a fantastic Christmas!

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