Two CCC Community Groups came together recently for a night of outdoor games, connection, and "hanging out." But those groups looked very different. Brad and Darian Combs and Kenny and Megan Mattingly lead a group of mostly young married couples and singles. Mike and Laura Davis lead a group of mostly empty nesters and retirees.
Why spend valuable time getting together?
Mike explained how spending meaningful time together on a night like this can lead to smaller exchanges at other points in the week - at larger church gatherings or even out in the community. These small interactions are actually the very things that fight back against the severe detachment and isolation so many are experiencing. "Not having even these small interactions can create a feeling of "detachment" and isolation from the church," explained Mike.
"Initially, it seemed a little awkward, which is normal when people who don't know one another get together, especially at a planned event to get to know one another. I think most expected this and made an effort to overcome it (though [the younger] group did a better job at this than "us older people.")
One of the "blessings" that may seem small, but I think was big, was getting time to visit with a few people we normally wouldn't have spent time visiting with simply to break the ice. As an example, Laura really appreciated the time Megan spent "hanging out" with her and those of our group. Now because the ice is broken, when Laura sees Megan at church, she will be more comfortable speaking to her, and even if it's just small talk, it still strengthens the sense of belongingness to the church. And who knows how the Lord may direct our paths where it could eventually grow beyond that."
People in both groups walked away with a greater sense of belonging to their church family which improved their outlook on daily interactions with other people as well.
Notes Mike, "Another blessing for me personally was simply observing how much their group just enjoyed each other, being light hearted and playing games. I'm afraid sometimes as we get older we lose a little of that. So I found that refreshing and uplifting as well."
How we relate to others, and how we invest in the relationships God has blessed us with, says a lot about our growing relationship with God. Perhaps all of us will take a page from these two Community Groups book and embrace awkwardness in our relationships to fight back against the detachment we can all fall into.
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Have questions about Community Groups? Contact Kenny@loveshelbyville.com.