Jon Stolpe Stretched

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

ReGroup

Last night was a big deal for me.

I’ve been a “small group” junkie for a long time since John Mulpas asked me to lead a “Gel Group” many years ago.  I’ve been inspired by many “group life” champions like Frank Chiapperino, Alyssa Dourte, Bill Search, Bill Donahue, Greg Bowman, Randy Frazee, Heather Zempel, Will Johnston, Dave Treat, and many others.  I truly believe in the power of connection and accountability that comes through living life together with a small group of people.

For many years, I was very active in our church‘s small group ministry.  I led several groups.  I helped to coach small group leaders.  I even led a group of coaches.  I attended several conferences designed to motivate, inspire, and equip small group leaders.  In many ways, I was all small groups – all the time.  But a lot of that changed a couple of years ago. For reasons I don’t need to get into here, I walked away from active small group leadership.  I have continued to keep up with a lot of front line small group thought and information thanks to the wonders of the internet.  I have even taken a more active role as a participant in a couple of groups over the past several months, but I have shied away from taking a leadership role in anything related to small group ministry.

I thought that was going to change last fall when Leanne and I helped to set up a family based service-focused small group, but this changed in September when we were forced to focus on our family as we were faced with some unplanned health obstacles.  Last night, Leanne and I finally had the opportunity to host and lead this group in our home.  We shared a meal of tacos in honor of Cinco de Mayo.  We gathered the kids and adults to discuss what it is like to serve and to be served.  We talked about what it means to be great in the eyes of the world versus great in the eyes of God.  I was invigorated as I had the chance to lead this discussion where kids and adults were able to share.  We finished up our evening with a craft for hospice patients.

We had three new families last night.  It was so exhilarating to see everyone talking together and sharing ideas about how they could serve others together.  At the end of the evening, Leanne and I were so grateful for this opportunity.  We can’t wait for our next meeting – June 7th at our house.  We’ll have a BBQ/picnic, we’ll talk more about what it means to be a servant, and we’ll put our words into action.  Then on the June 21st, we’ll serve our community at the Colonnade in Schwenksville.

For me this was a big deal – worth sharing!

Let me know if you’re interested in joining us.

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May 18, 2011 - Posted by | small groups, thankful, thoughts

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