I was nervous. We had just kicked off our LifeGroup several weeks prior with two new families, one of which had never been in any sort of small group. Inside I was filled with fear: what if this ruins our group… what if everyone stops coming… Talking about generosity and money is HARD, and honestly it was the last subject I would want to study in our LifeGroup. But, there we were; entering into a new study in our LifeGroups, and I could feel God continually walking with me, calming all my nerves and asking me to trust him in a way I hadn’t before.
Side note: I think as leaders we often want to keep people from encountering things that might make them uncomfortable, because inside I think we are afraid it will make us uncomfortable (I know it was for me).
So we jumped in! The five weeks of our LifeGroup going through the Beyond curriculum was honest, raw, challenging, and healing. It was different for everyone because we were all in a different place.
Here are just a few examples of the way God shaped some of us in our LifeGroup throughout this season: On the last week of our study, we talked about how we have grown or changed through this series, and to my (sobering) surprise, the stories came spilling out. One member shared that her whole life she gave to her church because that’s what her parents told her to do; she said, “I did it for me.” She explained that it wasn’t until this study, when we opened up and studied the Bible that she realized giving is about God! For another family in our group, the talk of money raised red flags and walls because of the pain and hurt they had experienced in a former church. They said initially, their first instinct was to run away and throw in the towel. But, God was beckoning their hearts to stay, and at the end of the series, as we were reflecting, they commented on how healing this season had been to them. What a beautiful testimony! These are just two stories, but I can honestly say, I was blown away. I was brought to tears. I was humbled.
My fears said, “It could be so bad,” but God said, “Trust me!” God showed me that I would have missed out on seeing HIS glory, if I would have run away with my fears. Fear could have stolen this beautiful and sanctifying opportunity from all of us to grow in ways we didn’t know we needed. Alone, I could have found a million reasons why I didn’t need to talk about generosity, but together we gave each other a safe place to learn, grow and heal.