My high school small group has been studying and unpacking Philippians these past two weeks. Last night my plan was to unpack chapters 3 and 4. I spent a lot of time on this lesson, I read and re-read those two chapters, read two different commentaries on Philippians, and I was more than ready and was feeling good about this lesson.
Our group always starts off with a “go around the room and tell us how your week went” session. Usually this takes just a few minutes. I say usually but as you can probably tell by now that didn’t happen last night. Everyone had a lot of stuff to talk about, good and bad and we spent the first hour just doing that. At first my initial inclination was to try to hurry this along, I had a great lesson that would need at least an hour and a half.
That’s when I remembered something that Steven and I have written on before. Sometimes the real ministry happens before and after the planned lesson. I just let the guys talk. I chimed in every now and then with some advice but for the most part I sat back and watched as they ministered and counseled each other, it was so great.
We eventually got to an abbreviated version of the lesson I had planned and it went off great, the guys loved it. Last night was a very successful small group night because I remembered to let God run the group and not me. I let God’s plan for the night happen, not mine. This morning I thought to myself that a couple of the guys had some pretty heavy stuff they needed to talk about, if I had cut that part of our small group short that would not have happened and some prayer requests would have been missed.
Thank you God for running small group last night and for helping me to remember that my high school small group is not about how great of a lesson I can prepare, it’s about how I am preparing these guys for life after high school and making God be the focus.