by Lori Cardo
I became a Christian at 21 and within two years I was asked to lead a small group for some new Christians in my church. I didn’t have any training. I didn’t know the Bible that well. I still had a lot that God was working on in my life. Yet my pastor saw there was a need for some other young women to be discipled, and he believed I was the right person for the job. (1 Tim. 4:12 – “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”)
Later, I remember a Christian Bible scholar telling me that as a Christian, “If you are willing, do it, because most Christians are not willing!” Meaning, if you are open and willing to go on the mission trip, go! Or if you’re open to leading a small group, do it! So many Christians are just too comfortable and don’t make themselves available.
Over the past thirty years God has drawn me into over ten small groups. Some have lasted only months. Others have lasted as long as 3, 7 or 10 years, all because of the love that developed between the women. Looking back, I’m glad I allowed myself to be “open and willing;” to be available. What treasured memories I’ve had as God has taken me deeper spiritually!
Today, the small group I’m a part of enjoys weekly deep studies, divine salads (I’m convinced potlucks were designed by God!), quarterly ladies nights out, pajama parties, craft nights, serving one another meals in times of need, and lasting bonds developed through prayer and support.
Over the past few months God has been drawing me to a more radical relationship with Him. My natural self is fearful, yet I can’t stop being in awe of Him and feeling His gentle yet steady urge to die to my flesh. My prayer is that we all sense His moving at this critical time in America’s history. (“…And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”– Esther 4:14b)
God is always with you as you step out in faith. If you’re willing, do it! Lead or join a small group and be part of a radical change in the church and your community.
Our fall Beautiful small group season has just begun. If you’re looking for a women’s small group, check out this semester’s classes by visiting www.gfconline.com/beautiful and click on “Find a Group.”