Once a month I will have a guest blogger, one of LifePoint’s Small Group Leaders (Shepherds) share their story in hopes of encouraging and inspiring you. This month’s story is from Peyton & Elizabeth, a couple who were new to our area but quickly discovered the value of a Small Group Family.
“When we joined our first small group, we were new to the area and knew no one. While we wanted to learn and grow closer to God, we really wanted to meet new friends. We were those very selfish, self-centered small group members for a year or so. We showed up when we wanted and when it was convenient for us. After about two years, God, through Eddie, pushed us out to start our own group. This was totally new ground and territory for us. Not only would this require a new level of commitment, we didn’t feel equipped shepherd people closer to God. Through much prayer and study, we made it through and have since been leading small groups for 6 years.
We learned that small group and community are so much more than we ever thought it to be. We have learned that we aren’t just part of a small group to learn and grow closer to God, but we are also there to serve our Small Group family. We serve them by sharing with them our walk with the Lord, spending time with them, celebrating in their joys, mourning in their sorrows, babysitting their kids, and helping in whatever way we are needed. We realize that our time isn’t our own. We are here to serve others and to share what we’ve learned so that others might be encouraged and know that they are not alone on this journey.
Our heart breaks for our small group now as we constantly pray for them. We have challenged our group that the members really should be our best friends, the people we walk the deepest with and not just people you meet with every other Sunday to talk about God. We want to be pouring in to each other and meeting the needs of our group without even having anyone ask. We want to be that close to be able to anticipate each others’ needs. For us, this means we hang out other than just our “small group” time. We need this time to really dig deeper and find out about each others’ walk.
Leading a group of course grows my husband and me also. We are held accountable to be in the Word daily. We have to be examples of servant-leaders, and we have to be honest about our sin and struggles.
Being part of a small group and a small group leader has grown us tremendously and God has blessed us with another family through it because our small group truly feels like family.”