I just love my small groups! Over the years I’ve been blessed by leading small groups of all ages. I love all “my” small groups: from my precious 2-year-olds and their wide-eyed wonder of God, to those 3rd graders who are so interested in discovering more about Jesus, to my sweet sophomore girls and their overwhelming passion for learning who God created them to be and their desire to tell the whole world about Him!
Being a part of someone’s life and being the hands and feet of Jesus to them every week can be the greatest uplifting experience. Coming in week in and week out to pour into the lives of these amazing children of God is priceless. But sometimes, there does seem to be a price. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our small group routine—our “go to church, love on kids, come home and nap” routine—that we begin to feel isolated from “the outside world”. We begin to question our influence and we feel our passion fade. We just feel . . . alone.
I know I’ve felt this way before and it’s hard to admit! I mean, we’re working for God to help bring up world changers, we should be feeling filled up, right? Well, if you feel alone, you’re not alone in feeling alone! I’ve found that when I feel alone in my leadership, I often let my pride get in the way. I don’t allow myself to reach out. Instead of admitting that I’m struggling, I back out of serving, I make excuses, and I do whatever I can to make the feeling go away.
So when that happens, what are you supposed to do? How do you counteract the alone-ness you feel? Honestly, I don’t think there’s one easy solution. I do think from looking over my moments of alone-ness that there are some things that really helped me embrace the isolated feelings and turn them into positive motivators to create relationships.
One of the best things I did was reach out to my coach—the leader who was in charge of the small group leaders in my age group. I discovered that my coach was feeling alone too, so we decided to start getting all the age group leaders in our area together to just have fun. It was great! The other thing I did was join my own small group—a small group that I did life with. The more I invested into these relationships the more alive I felt. I found that each week I got excited to go to my small group and tell them the new awesome story from my sophomore girls’ group.
Most of all, I just let others in. I didn’t try to hide my alone-ness. I didn’t let the shame of feeling alone control me. We’re doing kingdom work and Satan will do everything he can to keep us from pushing through. Stay strong my friends; reach out. Call out to your Father and He will answer you. He’ll bring the sparkle back to your eyes and fill the void of loneliness. We weren’t meant to be alone.
“Two people are better than one. They can help each other in everything they do.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, NIrV)