We all love a fresh start. A blank sheet of paper, a blanket of snow, a new morning, a new year. We can become giddy with the possibilities that a new year and a new decade have to offer.
Maybe the expectations of your Small Group in 2019 fell short. Maybe you are anticipating 2020 with all of the fun activities that you already have planned. Maybe your group dynamic has changed recently, and you are unsure of what to expect in the new year.
While plans are good and necessary, it is God who ultimately directs your steps (Prov. 16:9). Whatever your hesitations are associated with the new year, have you asked what God’s plans are for your Small Group? Here are a few suggestions to help frame your mind as you enter a new decade.
1. Ask God What His Plans Are
It can be easy to know that God has a plan for your life (Ps. 139:16), but have you asked him what that might be? I encourage you to be direct and pray, “Lord, what are your plans for my Small Group this year?” And be open to his leading in that regard.
We can do nothing apart from the Jesus (Jn. 15:5), and the reason we have so many wonderful gifts like community is because of him. So instead of relying on your own strength to lead, ask God to help lead your group.
2. Allow Room for the Unexpected
No matter how much you prepare, there will always be things that don’t go according to plan. Start to anticipate this: that will remove disappointment and will also reinforce your dependence and trust in God to direct your times together as a group. Plus, it will help you rejoice when things do go according to plan!
3. Love the Person in Front of You
There may be a member in your group who can sometimes deter your plans. Instead of letting this become a roadblock, choose to love the person knowing that God is sovereign over every encounter. Ask God to reveal what he wants to teach you through the people he has placed in your group. After all, Small Group is about people.
New Hope in the New Year
Our hope for you in this new decade is to realize that everything we have is from the loving hand of God, including your Small Group. By taking these suggestions into account we pray that with the Lord’s help you and your Small Group experience deeper community and belonging in the new year.