It would be safe to say that if you’re writing for a blog all about small groups, it can be safely assumed that you think small groups are a good thing. But what about the people who aren’t so convinced that a small group is for them? What about those who hear that they’re a good thing to get involved with, but don’t really know why?
We ask Sophie – who openly admits that she wasn’t that bothered about being in a small group – how her opinion has changed since starting going to a weekly group. Our hope is that Sophie can give us a different perspective on small groups and maybe shed some light on what makes them (apparently) so great.
Why did you join a small group?
Everyone was talking about how they could connect at a different level in a small group. It took me a while to get the courage up to push myself out of my comfort zone and join in, but I knew from the offset that it was a safe environment. It turns out that it’s a great way to get involved with other people in the church.
What stopped you from being part of a group before?
I guess I had always intended to get involved, but the actual action of asking to be included stopped me. It meant I had to make time for it, and I had other things going on in the week (honestly!). But after six months of talking about it, it got to a point of just having to do it, so I asked to join a group and made it happen.
Can you describe the benefits of being in a small group?
The group is really laid back and I feel like I have permission to say whatever I want without being worried that I’ll say the ‘wrong’ thing, or my that opinions will be shot down. It’s fine to disagree, as the group welcomes honest discussion.
We have a Facebook group for all our members. It’s so great to know that throughout the week there’s always someone there when you need prayer and support. There’s a mutual agreement that everyone will pray for each other.
Is this the first small group you’ve been a part of?
Nope, but my previous experience was very different. Previously, I very much just helped out with practical things like preparing food rather than being involved myself. It never had the same level of deep and meaningful chats – it was much more surface level. I think that’s because it was more of a large gathering of people rather than a small group.
What do you think is the purpose of a small group?
To encourage a very different relationship with people than the ‘standard church chat’ that you might get every Sunday. I would describe our small group as a designated space to be really real.
Did you know the people in your group before you joined?
I knew the leaders quite well and others I knew on the level of just to saying ‘Hi’ to in passing. I wasn’t nervous about starting as I knew the leaders and it didn’t matter that I didn’t know anyone else because we were all in the same boat.
What is your favourite thing about your small group?
It’s fun! I make space for it in my week because I know that I will have a great time. It has become part of my week now. I love how I know that it won’t be a waste of time as everyone turns up and is really open and real.
Any advice for those not yet in a small group?
I’d probably say, just join one and get stuck in. Obviously I can’t speak for every small group but it might just surprise you and you never know – you could end up having a really good time, meet some great friends and wish you did it earlier. And really, what have you got to lose? Go and make the most of it!
Sophie loves to cook, travel, and being food mad, plans most of her trips around what new things she can eat, drink and then try to re-create herself! She is currently happy working in Customer Services for CWR and enjoying following God wherever he is leading her.