By Amy Moore
I will never forget when God first laid it on my heart to lead a group. I was only two years into my marriage and on my second reading of a book that literally changed my way of thinking. I originally bought Is There A Moose In Your Marriage from a used bookstore because my husband’s parents had a dog named Moose and I thought it was a funny title for a book. When I started turning the pages, I realized it was full of information that no one ever told me pertaining to my role as a wife. As I continued to put the principles into action, God began to work on my heart about bringing this information to other women.
I couldn’t be the only one to have the privilege of knowing the secrets to making a marriage successful — secrets that were not-so-secretly but strategically placed in the Bible. In the book, two writers took God’s Truth and added a personal flare, complete with vulnerable testimonies of how they had both been handling marriage in their own way rather than God’s. It was a powerful revelation for them — one I am so thankful that I was able to read about so early on in my marriage. As I continued to put the principles into action, God began to work on my heart about bringing this information to other women.
Over five years ago, I took a shaky step in obedience and asked how I could lead a group. I thought I would have women, like myself, close to my age and somewhat newlyweds sign up. The first group of ladies to join included my mom and several new friends, all who had been married well over my two years…some for even 20+ years. It was then that I began to really feel the fear creeping in.
I could have never led this group had it not been for God’s persistence or strength. God used that first step in obedience to not only bless my marriage but to bless others who sought to better their marriage.
Fast forward five years, I have led a half a dozen small groups on the same study. The book was appropriately renamed The Politically Incorrect Wife. Every single time I led a different group through the study, I saw walls coming down. Women opened up about things they had never spoken to anyone, even their closest friends, sharing stories that required vulnerability and trust in those around them. These kinds of connections aren’t possible in a “normal” setting. Unless you live life as an open book, and I mean completely open — stripped down to the core open — you can’t know the heart of a person, the heart that may have been hard for many years.
Over those five years, I have heard about marriages changed simply because women made the decision to fellowship with one another. Letting down those walls wasn’t just in marriages but in relationships with other women, some who had been hurt by friends in the past or others who used their vulnerabilities against them. Doing life with a group of people you trust does so much more than give you someone to laugh and have a good time with. It gives you an opportunity to strive for more, people who will call you out, lift you up and help you to become all that God has called you to be. God doesn’t just use these connections to encourage us but also to refine us. As we learn together, we grow together.
But here’s the thing — you can’t just make a decision and expect God to do all the work. As a group leader, I had to take a step in obedience as did each of my group members to join a group. The next step is to participate and be an active part of your group.
So whether this is your first time joining a group, first time leading or you are still on the fence, I want to encourage you by saying this — life is better together. I am not just saying that, I mean that. Take it from one of our fearless leaders…
“God has called us to live in community with one another. Groups are a great way to find your tribe so you can connect, grow and find freedom in all areas of your life.”— Lauren Earls, Church Life Coordinator
Community is perhaps the most important word to grasp when thinking about groups.
One writer says, “Community is having meaningful relationships where we do life together by sharing, encouraging, serving, forgiving and chasing faithfully after God.”
What does it mean to do life together?
Serve one another. GALATIANS 5:13
Honor one another. PHILIPPIANS 2:3
Encourage one another. HEBREWS 3:13
Pray for one another. JAMES 5:16
Instruct one another. ROMANS 15:14
Forgive one another. EPHESIANS 4:32
You can’t “one another” without first taking the step to be with one another.
Both of the groups I currently lead evolved into Life Groups as we continued to connect and grow together through our studies. The group that has been together the longest, over three years now, even has a member who has stayed with this leader from the very first, shaky encounter leading other Christian women. We stopped renaming our group after our book study and instead named it after an acronym we encountered in one of our studies, A.S.A.P. which stands for Accountability, Sharing our dreams, Asking tough questions and Praying for one another. That very definition, to me, describes what all groups should strive for.
So as this new season of groups begins, I hope you’ll consider finding people to do life with. Take a step in obedience towards a group that interests you and begin building worthwhile relationships that help take you from where you are to where God wants you to be.
Here are a few quotes from people who are active participants in groups here at Faith Community:
“This group for me is an encouragement and helps make connections. You get to know people on a personal level, pray for each other, cheer for each other, and celebrate victories together. I love reading content and then hearing how it touched others. It makes the reading stick. This has been such a wonderful part of my life the last few years.” — Tracy Lagermann, A.S.A.P., a Faith Community Life Group
Accountability! It’s been a safe place where we can bring our concerns or questions- but aren’t just left with a pat on the back and being told, ‘it’ll all work out.. it’s gonna be okay.’ No, instead of encouragement- we leave with real, tangible things to improve the situation, and the best part- it’s all centered on Jesus.”— Ashley Giant, Seamless, a Faith Community Study Group
“Being part of a group has allowed me not only to meet some incredible women that I can turn to and call my friends, but it has put me on this amazing journey with God I have been searching for! It encourages me to stay on the path I want to be on even on the hard days.”— Samantha Darian, Seamless, a Faith Community Study Group
“I have learned a lot through your [Amy] leadership like just keep pressing in. And this group of ladies just gets along so well – we have created really special relationships.” — Monica Griffith, A.S.A.P., a Faith Community Life Group
Author’s Note: This past year, God led an individual to my group who I felt had the heart to see marriages succeed, just as I do. Had this Godsend not been a part of this group, I would have never let go of leading The Politically Incorrect Wife. If you are interested in being a part of this life-changing, marriage-rearranging group, visit the Groups section on the church website or app. Better yet, why not click HERE!