By Emily Deeter
If I think about it for too long I can come up with probably a hundred reasons NOT to host small group at our house. Seriously. Six years ago, when I was close to having our first baby, Josh suggested that we host a small group at our house. I scoffed (audibly). Having a bunch of strangers over to our house on the cusp of having my first child did not sound like something I wanted to do. But, despite my scoffing, we hosted a group – and would you believe it, this group became one of the things that kept me afloat after Judah was born! Here are 5 reasons to host a small group in your home.
1. Getting to know people in your church family
As an adult it is increasingly difficult to make lasting friendships. Online relationships do not feed the soul the way that doing day to day life with someone else can. And simply attending church on Sundays does not guarantee a connection with others who attend. Hosting or attending a weekly small group has helped Josh and I really connect with several families at our church. I have made deep friendships with like-minded women in similar stages of life. Not only have I been able to build friendships, but my children have as well. If you find yourself going to church but with no friendships within your church family then it is high time you joined a small group!!
2. You are giving your home to God
As a follower of Christ I am so thankful for the life that He has given me. I recognize that all of the blessings in my life come from the Father (James 1:17). Part of hosting a small group at our house is willingly giving back to God what He has so graciously given. Our home is ours in the sense that we pay our mortgage and taxes and live in it, but ultimately we believe that everything we have belongs to God. So, if you want to expand your idea of stewardship- give more than just financially to God. It has been awesome to see what God has done in my own selfish heart by opening my home every week.
3. Discipling families
When our group meets we discuss the week’s sermon. It has been encouraging and eye-opening to hear what the Holy Spirit is awakening inside each other through the morning’s teaching. Another crazy, but awesome part of our group is that there are about 15 kids that come along with their parents. This makes for a wild night, but also incredible, because our children are not only seeing that we value going to church, but we believe it is important to meet together and pray with other believers. Our children see us pray and read the Bible with each other. They see us being vulnerable with other believers and we are not only helping to disciple adults, but their children and our own in the process. Your children see what you do much louder than the words you say. Show your children what is important to you.
4. Having a clean home at least once a week
As a mom of three small children and two dogs, my home is not as clean as I would prefer it to be. However, hosting a group in our home ensures that once a week the floor gets swept and mopped(sometimes) and laundry moves to it’s designated spot (not the couch). It may seem a bit of a daunting task in the beginning, but it is now part of our routine to clean our home on Sunday afternoons. This is a more practical reason to host, but it has been such a pleasant result of having friends in our home.
5. Someone needs to see your dirty sink
When we see each other at church, most of us have taken a shower, fixed our hair and are wearing nicer clothes and have our chipper Sunday smiles. I was going through a time recently of feeling less than, I was spending too much time online seeing the perfect slideshow of other people’s lives and began to believe that it was a true depiction of who they are and a sure sign that I was not worthy. My sink was full of dirty dishes, I was weary from lack of sleep and it seemed that I was the only one struggling. That afternoon I went to a friend from church’s house to drop something off and I saw her sink. Would you believe it that there were dirty dishes in it?! That simple sight brought healing to my soul, seeing that I was not alone in my striving to try to keep up with all of life’s tasks. So, having others over to home is not about putting on a show, but instead it is about being vulnerable and welcoming. Someone needs to see your dirty dishes and know that they’re not alone and that you are a real person, this way Satan can’t pull his dirty tricks and make us think we’re less than and alone.
I hope you will get involved in a small group and make lasting friendships in your church. If you are already involved what are some of the things that you enjoy about being a part of or hosting a small group?