For the month of November, our writers will be sharing posts based on what they have felt called to write about! We hope you are just as excited as we are! Be blessed. Be encouraged!
by Becca Christensen
The Lord started tugging on my heart last year to lead stronger. After having the same core group of women at my table for a year I knew they were hungry for more, ready to go deeper, and to grow faster. I on the other hand was feeling pretty comfortable. I finally told the Lord I’d throw him a bone and lead a group over the summer. I took my table from Beautiful Monday Nights through a study called ‘Chase’ this summer and I thought that was me responding to the Lord’s prompt.
As the summer wound down I knew the Lord was giving me new challenges. He wanted more from me. I, however, had a lot of good excuses. I just started a new job. I’m busy. My house is too far away. I don’t have enough seating. I’m on a budget. You name it, I had it stored up and I was throwing it up every time I felt the Lord give me a prod.
Finally I gave in. Ok Lord, I will lead a home group, I thought. I will open up my too-far-away house with too-few-chairs and welcome my group there to study you. My first white flag went up but the Lord wasn’t done pushing me yet. Next I knew that He was asking me to lead on the weekends (say what?), to provide dinner, and to stop trying to find a video I could show at group and just lead them through His word. After the first ‘yes’, the rest just kind of came out.
In September, after leading 3 semesters of on campus small groups, I started a small group in my South Tampa townhome. I had doubts but I had turned them over to the Lord and said, ‘you asked me to do this now wow me Lord’. He has. He has wow’d me with 100% attendance every single meeting. With women who are hungry, prepared, and early every time. With a new depth not just to our study but to our relationships.
My house isn’t perfect. I am not the world’s best chef. More than one of my girls drives over 30 minutes. My parking situation is not ideal. I was even intimidated to facilitate a discussion without a video, a book, or prewritten questions.
All I promised the Lord was that I would make myself available and I would prepare. It has been enough. Being together, eating together, studying together? It has been amazing. After the first week one girl came up to me and said, ‘I’ve been praying for this for a long time’. I crossed my fingers that the first week wasn’t some kind of fluke. But they keep coming back. They keep eating my food (although, God is clearly a jokester because I ended up with one vegan, one vegetarian, and one gluten-free woman). Each week they teach me, they grow me, and actually, they feed me (gluten free brownies and lots of veggies)!
Our group has become more like a family than a small group. I could never have imagined that in two months our group would grow closer then we did the whole year before. Three of the women were from my previous on campus group, one woman I just knew in my heart I was supposed to invite, and recently we welcomed two new ladies the Lord brought so perfectly to us as only He can. We finished the book of Ruth and we’re halfway through Esther and to steal a page from Esther’s book I think the Lord had been preparing each of us ‘for such a time as this’.
As I thought about what I wanted to share with you all in November I couldn’t resist telling you what it’s been like to bring my group home. I look forward each time to our group and on the in between weeks I miss our girls. Apparently I’m not the only one since one of my girls decided to drive separate on a family vacation to make it back in time for group and another is set to Skype in from a mandatory business trip. There is truly nothing better than living in Christian community with great women who are hungry for more of Him.
Are you currently leading or attending a small group that meets off campus? Share your experience below!
Becca Christensen works at Grace Family Church as a Ministry Assistant. She loves to travel, entertain, read, spend time with family, and root on the Indianapolis Colts. In addition to contributing to the Beautiful Blog, Becca leads a table at Beautiful Monday Nights. You can read more about Becca on her blog, www.beccachristensen.wordpress.com.