Have you ever been the new guy or gal to a small group Bible Study? You walk in and before long you begin to see relationships and friendships that obviously look much deeper than what you have with them. These feelings may be somewhat reasonable, but I would be willing to argue today that most relationships that we perceive at this level are not as deep as we think, so therefore we should not be put off by these perceptions but do our best to find a common meeting ground and dive in.
1.) I would argue that most relationships in a small group setting are typically pretty shallow, especially in this culture that we live in. We love to have 1000’s of friends on Facebook and really no friends of significance. As one of my good friends just said, we have a lot of breadth but little depth. I would agree.
2.) I would also suggest that most relationships are self-seeking endeavors as well. I think the reason we want this breadth without depth is the exposure that we do not have it all together like we think. We do not want people to really know our hearts and desires. We effectively want to seek to scratch our ‘popularity’ itch, and move on…and never truly convey our hearts.
Small groups are effective, dissolve this level of superficiality as quickly as possible. They may place you early on in a level of discomfort due to the need to be vulnerable, but this vulnerability will lead to mutual trust and intimacy that will be much more beneficial than trivial weekly conversations about ‘lawn care’ or ‘diets’ or ‘latest news crisis’.
Relationships built in this environment will be much more beneficial and lasting. Do yourself a favor and resist the temptation to move around a room to meet everyone…build a conversation…and if the Lord permits…you may find yourself, “sharing each other’s load of burdens”.