January 27, 2023 · Bob Gass
“There is one who scatters, yet increases…and…one who withholds… but it leads to poverty.” Proverbs 11:24 NKJV
Not all poverty is financial; there is a spiritual poverty that comes from not reaching out to others. Pastor Allen White said, “Sometimes it makes sense to keep your group small, but the following reasons don’t count: (1) ‘We value closeness.’ Too much closeness can cause your group to become ingrown. The motto changes to ‘Us four and no more’ or ‘We seven going to heaven.’ What was once so great becomes the death of the group. Members move away, schedules conflict, the group begins to decline around the two-year mark, and it’s harder to recruit new members. There is too much history going on. (2) ‘Outsiders might upset our rhythm.’ People get comfortable with familiar patterns. They sit in the same place and make the same inside jokes, but a comfort zone can quickly become a rut. New people don’t ‘get’ the jokes, they don’t know the routine, and what’s worse, they sit in your spot! (3) ‘Confidentiality.’ It is paramount because ‘loose lips sink ships.’ When new members join, review the ground rules. The conversation might go like this: ‘Since several new folks have joined, let’s take a minute to review the ground rules. We value confidentiality, and anything said here needs to stay here.’ If they agree, you’re good to go. (4) ‘If we get too big, we’ll have to divide.’ When it comes to the ideal group size, eight to twelve seems to work well. But numbers aren’t nearly as important as what’s happening inside the group. When numbers go up, personal care sometimes goes down.” Bottom line: keep your group healthy.
Bible in a year: Genesis 43-45