This is my husband and I's second small group. Even though I've been in a number of different women's small groups, I often still feel like a small group rookie. We even feel a little bit fraudulent because while some of the other couples have been on amazing mission's trips and more often than not have some sort of musical talent (have you ever noticed that about Christians?), and are part of the choir or worship team, my husband isn't very "churchy" and in the past, I've gone in and out of regular church attendance. The other couples always seem much more knowledgable and comfortable with it all. But that's our perception and not necessary the way things really are. Nevertheless, it feels a little bit hard and intimidating walking into a new group.
So why join a small group? Well, I love learning. One of my favorite things to do is discuss something I've learned about. I get such a high from suddenly seeing something in a new light. I get inspiration from being part of a joint effort. It's an instant support system. When my mother died, on the scene were our small group members. When there is a difficult decision to make or a hardship to get through, I get comfort from knowing there are others praying for me. It provides accountability. I am much more likely to read scripture and think about things if I know I am meeting with people to discuss it. It's a great way to get connected in the church and meet other couples who are in roughly the same stage of life as us. And if we never step out of our comfort zone then we won't grow in our faith and we certainly won't get past feeling like fraudulent newbies.
The Bible is pretty clear that Christians should get connected and fellowship together. Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT) says, "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another...".
Matthew 18:20 says, "For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them."
I think the challenge for us will be to be ourselves and not censor our past (it's not like we have out-of-control pasts but we have spent more time living a non-Christian lifestyle than living a Christian one). We have already met several times and the other members do not strike me as judgemental or exclusive so I'm sure things will work out. It will just take a little time to grow comfortable.
Too bad it's not as easy as inviting your neighbour over for a glass of wine or a beer.