Hi, my name is Aaron. My wife and I lead a Life Group in the South Metro.
I am looking out my back patio windows on a rare above-freezing March day. The snow thaws to uncover hay and dirt and a strangely “in place” orange cable. 170th street is quiet. The soccer field beyond is one morning closer to birthing new schoolyard legends. Why is this interesting? It’s only the second time I’ve ever stared out this window with a cup of coffee in hand accompanied by sweet silence.
Life is, shall we say, fast, these days in our life group. Fast with constant changes. Upon first meeting, we discovered that all four families were going to be welcoming a baby within the school year! Two of our families (including ours) have moved within the last three months. Needless to say, absences have been excused and even encouraged regularly.
With such a fast pace, the idea of a life group has taken on a different rhythm than I initially imagined. I have a passion for learning, and a passion for biblical literacy. One of my first thoughts after agreeing to host a life group was, “Go Deeper.” (insert eye roll… it’s ok, I rolled them too). This phrase has probably seeped into my brain after years of working at a Christian camp, but nonetheless, the potential to “Eat this book” in community excited me. By the way, I strongly advocate continually uncovering the Scriptures in community to hear God speak, but in our case – in a way we all have needed, “Go Deeper” has taken a different shape.
In our group, one of the hardest things to accomplish is to actually get there. With demanding work schedules, kids getting sick, and one of the harshest winters in the last century, this has been no small feat! Once we are together, we must prepare food, we must eat, and we must get children playing. Then, there is a window. Sometimes it lasts a few minutes, sometimes more. This is when we share life. We share our stories. We share highlights from our personal narratives. We share about the stresses and joys of work. We’ve even burned a couple of hours getting nostalgic and watching our favorite music videos on YouTube. (“November Rain” vs. “On Bended Knee” anyone?) And as we take these moments together to lay the foundation of relationship, something is happening. Trust is building. Music videos turn into sharing the highs and lows of marriage and family. Discussions about this thing we call church. Taking wisdom from each other. And yes, sometimes things “devolve” into complete randomness and more music videos.
Most of all, our life group experience is growing affection between us. This affection, (dare I say “love?”) is what causes excitement at Gatherings when we see each other. Meals delivered to one another. It is even starting to generate moments of prayer for one another. I am so excited for the “deeper” that is to come. It is a sacrifice to adopt some of this community rhythm into life. But, if these early stages are so satisfying, I can only imagine the returns as we keep going.