Being a small group point person is hard. The items on my to-do list seems to always be growing and never shrinking. Meetings; vision-casting; recruitment; curriculum; encouragement; conflict resolution; endless suggestions. And let’s not forget, you are part of a staff team, paid or volunteer, and you must constantly navigate those waters. I seem to hear more about what I am not doing, or problems I need to fix.
Please, don’t get me wrong—I love my job and firmly believe God has called me, equipped me, and empowered me “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). But you and I fool ourselves if we think it is always roses. So let’s be honest and admit the truth.
There are moments when I feel like Charlie Brown in A Charlie Brown’s Christmas, “Is there anyone who understands?” Thankfully Charlie Brown has Linus, who in the middle of the chaos, calls Charlie Brown back to the center, and reminds Charlie Brown and everyone else present the heart of God.
A few weeks ago, one of my small group leaders was Linus to me. A few of us were meeting together to share best practice ideas, and the question was raised, “How do we handle the situation when it feels like nothing is going on? When it feels like the group has lost its ‘mojo’?” It’s a great question, something I know most of you can relate to. An older, wiser person spoke up and said something to the effect, “Even when we feel like nothing is happening in the group, there is probably a lot more going on beneath the surface than you and I will ever realize.”
The most basic, most profound reality of small group ministry right there. And yet, a reality I often forget. In Psalm 139, David reminds me:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
If I make my bed in the depts., you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me,
And the light become night around me,”
Even the darkness will not be dark to you;
The night will shine like the day,
For darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139:7-12)
The truth is: our Triune God is always present. This truth, hopefully, leads me to trust that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are constantly at work in powerful, yet many times subtle ways in the lives of His people; ways we may never realize this side of heaven.
In the midst of the chaos of ministry, I need to make the habit of recognizing this fact. I need to slow down, even stop what I am doing, and remind myself, “Lord, You are at work. What are You doing? And how might I participate and be faithful to Your calling in my life?”
My job is not to fix it. Jesus calls me, He calls you, to be faithful and to join with Him in His work “to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:20).
May you and I be found faithful in our calling.