Hello Beloved -
I know joining a Sanctuary Group is a big jump for anyone, especially if you're new to this framily.
There is no shortage of reasons you shouldn’t do it. To be honest, I’ve made some of these same excuses and I’m the pastor! We're launching fall groups the week of Sept. 13. But you might want to read my list of excuses before considering...
Excuse #1: I don't know the people.
You’re thinking something like this, aren’t you?
If I join a Sanctuary Group, there will be people I don't know there. They will probably have quirky habits and want to talk about the book of Revelation the whole time. What if they try to recruit me to be a part of a pyramid scheme or convince me to join their political party. I don’t know if I can handle that level of stress.
Let me go ahead and confirm your fears. Chances are, there WILL be people in your group that you don't know. But if it’s any consolation, they don't know you either. But being known is the deepest desire of every human being. The first step in being known is allowing yourself to be known.
Excuse #2: I’m too busy.
On any given week, you work about 40-50 hours (full-time at-home parents is even more!), drive 5-10 hours, go to the grocery store, mow the grass, watch SportsCenter, grill burgers, drive the kids to their extracurricular activities, and call your mom. Every time you check one thing off the list, another thing is there to take its place.
The pace is brutal, and you need all the hours you can. So the thought of taking a night in the middle of the week to go hang out with people and talk about our lives with God isn’t really all that appealing. “This season of my life is just busy,” you tell yourself.
But deep down you know this season of your life isn’t any busier than the last season of your life and is just as busy as the next season of your life. They are all busy seasons.
You don’t need a lecture to prioritize what’s truly important, so I’ll spare you. But I do want to give you permission. Permission to let something go undone. Permission to tell your kids they can’t do that activity because mom or dad need a night. Permission to eat out. Permission to just have 15 minutes of silence.
Excuse #3: I’m an introvert, kinda
I’m pretty sure 60% of the people in the world are introverts. It seems like less, but that’s just because the extroverts get most of the attention.
I’m an Extrovert on Myers Briggs personality test, but less than 5 points separate me from being an Introvert. You never would have guessed that I am renewed and relaxed by being alone. Whether that’s in a coffee shop with a good book or listening to the latest Rise & Fall of Mars Hill while cutting my grass – I like doing things by myself.
Whether you are a true extrovert or your vocation requires you to be one like me, we can be overbearing to the introverts in the room. Groups learn how to make space for one another. Once you break the ice and get through some of the silly stuff, you may find a close relationship is developing.
Those are three of the reasons I’ve given myself for not jumping into a small group with others.
So, what are yours?
P.S. If you’re ready to jump in, we’ll make it as easy as possible. Just email Dr. Janet Hinds at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will help you get started!