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The unique love and support of a small group

01.27.20 | Small Groups | by Molly Iler

The unique love and support of a small group

    God blessed me with a group of 13 Christ-seeking friends. Although we're at similar stages of life currently, we vary in age, perspectives, and experiences.

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    If I'm honest, joining a small group at HPUMC had been on my mind for quite some time, but I had come up with plenty of excuses as to why it wasn't the right time. I work full-time and go to graduate school full-time, so I was convinced that it would not fit into my schedule. I was involved at church with the Welcoming Ministry and with other fellowship communities, and I told myself that was enough. I'm glad I finally ignored those thoughts.

    Before Cornerstone one Sunday, there was a video promoting the upcoming Small Group Launch. I saw a couple I knew and really respected on the video. When I listened to their conversation, I saw a level of comfort, accountability, and support in their group, and I knew it was something that I wanted. No more excuses. I registered for the launch during church that day. (Sorry, Paul.)

    Going into the Launch, my expectations were nice and low. I didn’t know if anyone seeking a 20s-to-30s, co-ed group had even registered, much less if they would be “my people.” I envisioned myself sitting in a room with (at most) three other people without much in common and without a whole lot to say. After setting up our group and then meeting for the first time, my expectations were completely blown away. 

    God blessed me with a group of 13 Christ-seeking friends. Although we're at similar stages of life currently, we vary in age, perspectives, and experiences. We balance each other out and push each other forward. We bring our challenges in relationships, families, work, and faith to our group and have been vulnerable with each other from the beginning. 

    In our first meeting, some members were starting to allude to specific struggles they faced. We paused and went around the circle sharing what our biggest challenge is and how the group might help us move forward and hold us accountable. 

    Shockingly, many of us were fighting similar battles or had in the past. It was clear to me at that moment that God was working when he put us together. It brings to mind Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” We are truly growing together and carrying each other through our current season of life. 

    I knew we had something special when we moved beyond our 7:30 to 9:00 Tuesday night meetings at the church. When folks started making weekend plans and coordinating dinners outside of the walls of the church, things changed. In a short amount of time, this group had become a staple in my life, which was an unexpected benefit. 

    Together, we share a group text message thread, a Spotify worship playlist, a row of seats at 11:00 am Cornerstone, holiday/birthday celebrations, and log-ins to every streaming service. If that's not love and support, I don't know what is. 

    My life, both spiritually and otherwise, has improved immeasurably in the few short months that I have known these silly, smart, kind, and thoughtful people. I'm filled with gratitude for the church and God for bringing us together, and I can't wait to see us continue to grow in faith together.

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