Every first and third Wednesday night, you will most likely find my husband, daughter and me at a Shepherding Group meeting. We started this every other Wednesday ritual back in 2004, the same year I was laid off, we bought our first home and my husband had started a new career.
It has been a huge blessing in both of our lives but maybe I should begin by telling you what a shepherding group is. Our large church breaks into smaller groups to get to know one another and share each other’s burdens. It is a unique opportunity for spiritual growth and practical application of the message we heard the Sunday before. We meet at our leaders house usually and share prayer requests and praises, pray, discuss the message our pastor preached the Sunday previous and end with food and fellowship.
As I said, we started in our group in 2004. The prayers and encouragement have meant so much to us over the years, especially during those times when life was very difficult. Knowing that in good times and in bad, there are a group of people praying for us and with us is a huge blessing in our lives. I always enjoy hearing what everyone took away from the message and the different perspectives. It always gives us something to think about and other ways to apply it in our lives.
We have forged some wonderful friendships over the years and we know God placed us with these people specifically to use them in our lives and us in theirs. How about you? Does your church offer shepherding groups or something similar? Are you involved in one? If not, I encourage you to become involved! I promise you will benefit greatly and God will use you in the lives of others, people you would normally maybe never have met. I would love to hear how God has used Shepherding Groups to bless you!
November 20th, 2009 at 3:09 pm
We’re involved in a SG at our church too. At first it was not a very comfortable position to be that open and honest with people that we’d see on a regular basis. BUT, we’ve learned that this is a very important aspect of sanctification (Becoming like Christ). These people are not only friends, but they’re the ones that we want to talk to first when things are confusing, when we’re frustrated, dicsouraged, excited, or challenged. We “do life” together and often, they are closer than family because of our very open converstations. It’s awesome to be involved with a group of Christians for the specific purpose of care and accountability.
And for the record, of the 2000 that attend our church weekly, probably only about 1/8th of them attend a SG. Do people NOT attend because they don’t want that kind of accountability? Because they aren’t “needy?” Because it’s scary to be vulnerable and honest about their less-than-perfect state of Christ-likeness?
March 7th, 2011 at 1:51 pm
I like that…”do life”. That is exactly what it is.
November 20th, 2009 at 10:04 pm
I love my small group (at our church they’re called LIFE groups). They’re like family and one thing I appreciate is that each time we meet we share a meal afterward. It’s really about building relationships and not just bible study, and over the past three years our families have become close friends. I feel so thankful to have a true community of people to rely on instead of feeling like a nameless face in the crowd on Sunday mornings.
(p.s. hook me up with the password so I can read the protected posts ; ).
November 20th, 2009 at 10:13 pm
Check your inbox. :)
May 12th, 2010 at 4:24 pm
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