Jon Stolpe Stretched

What's S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g me now?

In Your Face – Don’t Give Up Meeting Together

A few weeks ago, I found myself in quite a tough spot.  Many things around me seemed to be collapsing in on me, and I felt all alone.  This seems kind of strange for a guy who has tooted the “GroupLife horn” for so long, but it’s true.  At a time when I needed a shoulder to lean on the most, I was generally isolated from the kind of relationships which would know that life was crazy for me at that moment, which would care enough to ask me how I was really doing, which would carry me through when I just couldn’t muster the energy to continue.

That’s when a friend of mine, Adam, jumped across the “ocean” to join me on my island.  Through our conversation, he could tell I was hurting.  He simply asked, “Are you in a group right now?  Do you have someone to lean on?  Who’s got your back?”

Right in my face!  Here I was the guy who was supposed to ask people this question.  After all, I know how important it is to be in some type of small group.  I had been leading groups and leading in group ministry for years.  But…with no great excuse…when Adam asked me these questions, all I could say is, “No.  I’m not in a group right now.  I feel alone.  And I’m not sure if anyone has my back right now.”

Thankfully, Adam didn’t leave it at that.  He invited me to join him with a group of guys that meets every week.  He said I’d be more than welcome to check it out and join them.  So…I did!  That’s right.  A few Wednesday nights ago, I drove over to a local diner and met with a crazy group of guys, who made me laugh, who listened to me, who made me think.  These guys obviously don’t have it all together, but they’re trying to do their best to live life in a way that honors God.  And they realize the importance of meeting together.

That night, Adam shared a passage from Hebrews 10 about the importance of meeting together.  I’m not sure if that was meant just for me or if it was for the whole group, but it was just what I needed.  I’ll be checking out this group again, and I’m looking forward to being in community again.  Community that will spur me on.  Community that will lift me up.  And community that will take me off of my island.

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August 15, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

5 Comments »

  1. Hey man, so good to read something honest and real on the Internet, ya know? I think at times God allows to go through times when we feel alone (whether we really are or not) in order to lean on HIM and remember that he ALONE is our strength.

    It’s great to have friends to rely on, but ultimately He is the only thing that can sustain us. I can say I’ve felt that way A LOT in life, only to realize much later on that not only was God carrying me along, but there really were people close by, I just couldn’t see it.

    I have been praying for your family since hearing about the missions trip and since we did our online group thing. Know that God puts you in people’s hearts even when (and maybe especially when) you feel alone or are going through something hard. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Craig Allen | August 15, 2010 | Reply

  2. Dear Jon,
    It was kind of bitter sweet to read your note. Grandma told me about one of the reasons you were feeling alone, but you’re not. I remember you guys in prayer often and hope that you don’t feel aloone again!
    Love, Aunt Elaine

    Comment by Aunt Elaine | August 16, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] reposting my blog post from August 15, 2010.  Outreach Magazine used a quote from this post in their Nov/Dec 2010 […]

    Pingback by Repost: In Your Face – Don’t Give Up Meeting Together « Jon Stolpe Stretched | November 4, 2010 | Reply

  4. […] 4.  Small group leaders aren’t supposed to live on an island.  Leaders must find ways to stay strong and spiritually fervent.  They must also have a support team to provide guidance when small group life gets tough – and it usually will. (I wrote about this on my blog over a year ago.) […]

    Pingback by Ten Things Every Small Group Leader Should Know « Jon Stolpe Stretched | October 25, 2011 | Reply

  5. […] 4.  Small group leaders aren’t supposed to live on an island.  Leaders must find ways to stay strong and spiritually fervent.  They must also have a support team to provide guidance when small group life gets tough – and it usually will. (I wrote about this on my blog over a year ago.) […]

    Pingback by Ten Things Every Small Group Leader Should Know | Jon Stolpe Stretched | March 7, 2012 | Reply


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