Sometimes group leaders can forget they need accountability and deep personal relationships. My friend Jon recently posted about this on his website:
A few weeks ago, I found myself in quite a tough spot. Many things around me seemed to be collapsing in on me, and I felt all alone. This seems kind of strange for a guy who has tooted the “GroupLife horn” for so long, but it’s true. At a time when I needed a shoulder to lean on the most, I was generally isolated from the kind of relationships which would know that life was crazy for me at that moment, which would care enough to ask me how I was really doing, which would carry me through when I just couldn’t muster the energy to continue.
That’s when a friend of mine, Adam, jumped across the “ocean” to join me on my island. Through our conversation, he could tell I was hurting. He simply asked, “Are you in a group right now? Do you have someone to lean on? Who’s got your back?”
Right in my face! Here I was the guy who was supposed to ask people this question. After all, I know how important it is to be in some type of small group. I had been leading groups and leading in group ministry for years. But…with no great excuse…when Adam asked me these questions, all I could say is, “No. I’m not in a group right now. I feel alone. And I’m not sure if anyone has my back right now.”
Thankfully, Adam didn’t leave it at that. He invited me to join him with a group of guys that meets every week. He said I’d be more than welcome to check it out and join them. So…I did! That’s right. A few Wednesday nights ago, I drove over to a local diner and met with a crazy group of guys, who made me laugh, who listened to me, who made me think. These guys obviously don’t have it all together, but they’re trying to do their best to live life in a way that honors God. And they realize the importance of meeting together.
That night, Adam shared a passage from Hebrews 10 about the importance of meeting together. I’m not sure if that was meant just for me or if it was for the whole group, but it was just what I needed. I’ll be checking out this group again, and I’m looking forward to being in community again. Community that will spur me on. Community that will lift me up. And community that will take me off of my island.
As leaders, we really aren’t leading effectively, nor providing a good example to those that follow if we keep ourselves in isolation. Thanks for the reminder Jon!