A Small Group Leader’s Challenge to Her Small Group

Editor’s note: Struck with inspiration, one of our small group leaders sent this encouraging note to her group. With their permission, we share it with you.

Hello Friends! If you were not able to be at church today, or couldn't stream the message, I strongly encourage you to make the time to listen to it.

 As you all know, Evergreen has been going through some challenging seasons, and we are on the edge of a “Fresh Start” with some things.  

I felt very strongly during today's message to "up my game” a bit. And I encourage you all to do the same. I want to point this out, primarily, toward whatever that "fresh start" might be in your life. Is it saying “Yes” to a new or higher level of commitment at church somehow? Is it saying “No” to the distractions in your life—however good they may be? Is it taking some time to be still and really hear what the Holy Spirit might be saying to you about a fresh start? Is it letting go of something or someone—though comfortable, might not be beneficial?

I might step on toes here a bit, dear friends. Thankfully, I have small feet.☺️ As a leader at Evergreen and a facilitator for our very sweet group, I want to ask each of you to give some prayerful thought into what that fresh start or next step might be for you. It could be something as simple as coming to church to be a part of the Fresh Start there. It could be sharing more openly in group. It could be serving your family differently. It could be serving in a new ministry area at church (or outside of  church). It could be those foundational things we all need so much: more time in the Bible and accountability with that and in our personal walks. It could be a change of attitude about _______? It could be monetary giving. It could be a shift in priorities from "me" to "others.” It could be a zillion things. I’m pretty sure there is something each of us could point to if we'd listen and be honest with ourselves.

 If you listen to Brent's message from today, I think you'll see we (Evergreeners) are in the same place as that rag-tag band of Israelites who God called to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. He used the people who were available. The "project" did not succeed because Israel was strong, or rich, or powerful. It succeeded because the people admitted to their need for God and allowed the Spirit to lead them, use them, change them, and change the world around them!

Friends, here is the challenge: are we willing to let God do something new and fresh in our lives? Are we willing to be changed? Are we willing to let go of some of our comfortable spaces and step into new spaces? I want to challenge you and invite you to be a part of the Fresh Start at Evergreen. Step in! Be involved! Be a cheerleader—not a critic. God has each of us here for a reason. We are each gifted and needed. We each can benefit the body if we choose to. Let's be participants, not simply spectators.

 I'll be very honest here. I know there are two things I am being asked by God to do. I'm not very confident about myself in either of them, but I will do them. One of them is being willing to send emails like this, to challenge others. You know why?  Because I know Him well enough to truly believe that HIS plans are better. He has proven Himself faithful to me too many times for me to hold back when He says,  "Turn here, or do this." The second thing is a little more private. 

Let's be people who take time to hear Him and follow Him. It will be exciting!

To hear Brent’s message, go here and click on the series “Fresh Start” and choose the message “Fresh Starts Require Confidence”.

Spencer Bernard