Q: What made you take the next step to become group leaders?
A: [Patti] We had talked about wanting to serve by leading a group, and then we received an email from Bud [Adult Ministries Pastor] about the leadership class for small groups. So, we signed up and completed that. I was nervous because I was pregnant, and here we are in the middle of COVID trying to start a group.
Q: Wow! How did you overcome the obstacles to getting a new group started?
A: [David] When COVID began, it was a time where people needed community more than ever before. We had someone close to us who relapsed with their addiction while isolated during COVID, which stirred us, even more, to surround ourselves with fellow believers. Also, we wanted a group to really be a community, going through life together, and life circumstances happen all the time.
A: [Patti] And a lot of life has happened in our group! We've had a baby; there's been loss, major surgeries, buying and selling of homes, new jobs, positive COVID tests, and three broken bones collectively between all of our 14-kids. Through all that, we've been praying for one another and supporting one another.
Q: Did you know everyone that was joining the group?
A: [Patti] We knew one couple who wanted to be in the group, but everyone else we were meeting for the first time.
A: [David] We're social and like meeting new people. Once we had our first meeting, I thought we gelled pretty quickly, all ten of us. I think that was because we all came together wanting to be in community, to share and listen to one another.
Q: What did the beginnings of the group look like?
A: [David] We started with the Better Together book that all new groups start off doing. The book helped create an outline for doing life together, getting to know one another, and listening to each other's testimonies.
A: [Patti] I was nervous that there would be people in the group I didn't connect with. But sharing our testimonies made me feel more comfortable and built a foundation for a good relationship and friendship. We thought our story was crazy, I really thought people would be floored by how bad things were, but everybody has stuff in their past that they've been through; estranged relationships, in our case, divorces. Everybody has stuff, and no one came to this group pretending to be perfect.
Q: How's the group going now?
A: [David] I think it's important to share that there was no long-term commitment to the group when we first started, it was six weeks together, and then everyone had the choice to stay in the group or not, and 100% decided to continue. I've been impressed by what God has done in the group; everyone has a voice. The guys are in a big text group; I'm reading the Bible in a year with one guy in the group and going on a hiking trip with two others.
A: [Patti] We've seen some cool things happen too. One couple in our group went through something very difficult, and it turns out they weren't the only ones. Several couples had been through the same exact thing. Right now, we're doing a Bible study on marriage. It's reassuring to me to hear other couples that are different than us, married a lot longer than us, and we all have similar things that we deal with in our marriage. It's comforting to know that it's not just us, and we're all on this journey together.
A: [David] Seeing those things play out affirms that we're doing the right thing by leading and being involved in a Community Group.