My support/fellowship group has been discussing the value of prayerfully and carefully chosen associations of like-minded, like-spirited people with whom one has the opportunity to safely learn and grow.
We have been discussing the advantages of our own group, acknowledging several essential attributes that have contributed to both its longevity and its effectiveness.
Honing those attributes down to the basics looks like this:
-Listening (no matter how many times it takes to process what we are going through),
-Honesty (and the healthy pursuit thereof), and
-Kindness (with no qualifications).
We realize we ask a lot of ourselves and the group, that we have set the bar high. So, to the above list, add:
Through time these values have brought each of us closer to each other and closer to the Lord. We have refined our fellowship even as we have been refined by each other and the Holy Spirit.
Our group is “scheduled” “as needed.” A “meeting” can consist of two on a phone or Online, or four or more in a room, pre-planned.
Although other information is frequently discussed, our primary source of guidance is God’s Word.
We are works—and a work—in progress….
The opportunities such a support/fellowship group offers are many:
-A safe place within which to process and to proceed,
Additionally, a core support group is a safe place to carefully examine other associations, groups, or ad hoc affiliations accessed as required, or desired by one or more members and a place to later debrief, if needed.
I encourage you, too, to pray for a good support and/or fellowship group with which to become engaged, if you do not already belong to one. I also encourage you to not leave—or come back to—your comfort zone without checking in.
Your group can start with as few as two, the number Jesus selected when He sent His followers out on the first mission trip. A small gathering, whether just two—or six or ten—is ideal, however, and gives time for all needs to be addressed.
And although Jesus is no longer organizing events on earth, He has promised that where at least two are gathered in His name, He is there in spirit (Matthew 18:20).
P.S. I salute today the faithful, courageous, tenacious, committed, bright, fun, and eternal sisterhood of my support group. I cannot tell you how many opportunities you have given me to renew, refresh, re-energize, and re-group over the years.
And to think, in the eternal scope of things, we’ve only just begun!
Image from the public domain.