My family just returned from a great vacation in Southern Arizona. We re-connected with some friends from our small group who moved to Tucson a year ago. The dads hung out and watched Spring Training baseball, the wives talked and shared parenting tips, and the kids played and played and played. We had a great time!
And then it was time to come home. So we loaded up the minivan and began the long trek. Lots of miles and road signs laid between us and our mid-point hotel destination.
After four hours on the road, a few pit stops mixed in for good measure, we were presented with a choice—take a diversion to see a city (Sedona, AZ) that came highly recommended by friends or stay on task and keep driving the Interstate to get to our night’s destination.
We took the diversion. Wow, are we glad we did! We were blown away by the beauty of God’s creation that envelops Sedona. It was simply breathtaking. And it was something that we would never have enjoyed had we stayed on task.
That got me thinking about small groups. (Yes, I’m weird like that.) I couldn’t help but think of our natural propensity to want to stay on task in a small group meeting. Whether the focus of the night is to finish a chapter or to spend the evening in prayer—all too often we get passionately tied to our agenda. We get locked in. Focused.
When we do this, we miss the diversion that could breathe life into our souls. We miss the opportunity to be surprised.
I’m not suggesting that every meeting should be a hunt for rabbit trails—structure and consistency to your group’s meeting time is crucial. But it’s also important for a small group community, at any given time, to be open to taking a diversion. You just might experience something that blows you away!