As part of Harvest Community Church, we would call our small groups, life group instead. This is where we can practice biblical community and just trying to be real with others or “life on life”, despite the doubts and insecurities. We would invite others to be with the community and try to create a safe space for everyone. You don’t necessarily have to be Christian to be a part of this group. By no means, is life group perfect, but I think it is the attempt and strife towards good and holiness that makes me and others want to be a part of this.
Usually in CSMP, there would be no life group and just exclusively CSMP members for the time being. Instead, the planning team decided to have life group in the summer. The challenge in life group and with CSMP is that the schedule is incredibly packed and there may not be enough time to meet up with people and follow up. Not to mention that there is a physical component too. I recall some of us being tired to interact with some of the members.
The life group was named 3 x 3. This is reference to John 21 when Peter denied Jesus 3 times, but despite that Jesus asked Peter “do you love me” 3 times. And through Peter, Jesus used him to build His church. Our life group covenant, or principles we want to live by, is made up of 3 components derived from the John 21 passage.
- “Do you love me?”
- Always choose to love
- Be a Christ Follower
I am incredibly thankful for the people we met. Many of them are different in many ways. Most times when I would see them, I would apologize for our scheduled busyness, but more often than not, they would be understanding. This humbled me.
Through life group, I think the people that we invited and invested into softened their hearts and to experience something than just community. In a span of a month, I saw people that experienced breakthroughs in softening their hearts to the church, having a passion of missions, and coming to know Christ or knowing more of God. The interesting thing was that in a span of a few months, our life group was called 3 x 3 , and we had 9 newcomers.
It has been a while since I been excited for life group. Maybe because everyone is new to me and there’s novelty that this experience and context is temporary. I am really sad that it is to end once missions is over. Every year, life group members gets reshuffled in a way to discourage cliques and provide an avenue to know other people.
However, it made me excited when I lead life group with someone next year with a new crop of members. I can’t expect this experience to translate to the Fall in Austin because a life group of CSMP members are usually among the committed members and you can’t predict people no matter how confident I may feel.