It’s easy to assume that the reason we are in a life group is because I’m a pastor and that’s what pastor families do…or at least supposed to do. Honestly, it’s not even a factor at all. “I’m not just the president for Hair Club for Men, I’m a client!” Life groups have been a part of our lives before I was a pastor.
Why don’t most people ever get involved in a life group? Basically, I’ve heard of 4 reasons.
1. I’m too busy/tired.
2. I’m a private person.
3. My life is a complete train wreck right now and I don’t want anyone else to know it.
4. I don’t want to deal with other people’s train wrecked life.
Not all of them are bad reasons.
But I wonder if they have ever stopped to list the reasons they SHOULD join a life group? I started making a list with a buddy of mine this week. He was in the middle of telling me about his life group. Here’s what I jotted down just in his 5 minutes of telling me about his life group.
1. I have friends closer than family.
2. Every one needs a safe place to get a good cry in every now and then.
3. I get to see people healed.
4. It gets me downtown. (They serve once a month at the Topeka Rescue Mission.)
5. You can never have to many good recipes.
6. I get more hugs now than in my previously 50 plus years of living.
7. I get to help people move. (I personally think this should go on the other list. But hey…)
8. Free snacks.
9. Our house is being used to serve God.
10. We serve together as a family.
11. I don’t have another place to ask questions about spiritual matters.
12. Get to help raise other people’s kids and vice versa.
13. I give hope to younger parents that they are not in this alone.
Five minutes of conversation – 13 reasons. There was barely a pause.
Raising three kids of my own, I resonate with reason #13. There are days when I think there is no way I’ll ever be sane or cool or normal again. I know – some of you are wondering was I ever sane, cool, or normal. But that’s not the point.
The point is this – living connected in community is the key difference between a REAL life group and just a group of people getting together to study the Scriptures. I already know more scripture than I can apply. I need the community. The community makes me a better dad, husband, leader, and overall person. I need the community because by myself, I lose perspective. I need the community because raising kids is crazy hard. And I don’t know all that I need to know.
And in light of that, those other 4 reasons don’t seem so huge.