Do you enjoy celebrating a birthday? You know, the cake, the candles, the singing? (Well, maybe not the singing.) For most of us, a birthday is time to have a little fun and honor someone in the process. Your birthday or someone else’s, it makes no difference. Some birthdays are more significant than others. But a celebration is a celebration, right?
I spoke with someone this week whose small group didn’t care too much for birthdays. In fact, they never bothered to get to know his or his wife’s special day. In the big picture, this doesn’t seem like a big deal. Right? Well, actually, it is a big deal!
At first glance, you might think the guy’s story I share today might seem a bit needy or self-absorbed. He’s the exact opposite. He’s understated. He loves Jesus. And he is genuinely concerned about others. That’s what made this scenario so intriguing. Because there is a bigger issue here.
You see, it’s the little things that we experience together in community that establish a level of care and concern for each other that builds a solid foundation for the big things. After all, if someone doesn’t care enough to find out or celebrate your birthday, they certainly aren’t going to care about the deeper issues in life. If a group can’t take a few moments once every year to shine the spotlight on the individuals in the group—what is the real point of the group?
Small group community is about the day-to-day, week-by-week stuff of life. It’s about the small stuff that we face each week that accumulates over time and becomes the big stuff. If your group isn’t doing the small stuff well—something as simple as getting to know each other’s birthdays and celebrating them—you’ll likely face serious issues of trust when the big stuff comes along.
So invest in the basics of life (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). Spend time on the mundane. The investment you make now will pay relational dividends later.