This post started out as a raging address to students (and parents) who don’t make coming to small group a priority in their lives. There are things like sports that get in the way and tend to win out over small group, and it’s frustrating
Then something happened.
I was humbled and amazed this week when one of my boys went from telling me on Monday that he wouldn’t be at group this week because he had a baseball game on Tuesday night (our small group night). The topic we were discussing was tremendously relevant to stuff in his life, so this was a huge letdown. Unfortunately in Orange County culture (and I’m sure we’re not alone in this), sports in JH and HS have become life-filling. This particular student has practice almost every day of the week and at least one game a week. It didn’t surprise me that he would choose baseball over small group because of our culture, but it definitely bummed me out.
Because of that, I did something I haven’t done before in 5 years of leading small groups: I asked him to miss a game. I emailed his mom telling her about how relevant this week would be to her son, and I asked if there was any way that he would be able to miss one game this season. She said she would talk to her son and her husband about it because she knew just how relevant this week would be.
Long story short, he made a decision to skip the game and come to group. I was SO proud because I know this was no small feat: he’s the star of the team, he loves baseball and he doesn’t want to let his coach down. I was amazed to see that he had thought it through and put small group ahead of baseball this week, and it ended up being an amazing week for him to come to small group.