I have another confession to make: I am a man. I understand that does not come as a shock to most people (except for my brother Geoff, who has insisted on referring to me as a “little girl” for most of my life – but that is an entirely different post…), but it does affect the way that I see small groups.
As a general rule, men do not like small groups. At Cross Point, we never have any problems putting together women’s groups. In fact, I am pretty certain that Oprah is not the richest woman in the world – it’s Beth Moore. She is shipping a LOT of curriculum. Getting men to attend a group is like asking southerners to give up sweet tea. Difficult.
I can completely relate. When we moved to Charleston and I went on staff at Seacoast, our friends Sam and Joan invited us to attend their small group. I had never been a part of a group before and honestly had no interest in starting. I was literally dragged kicking and screaming (probably explains the “little girl” part) to the group. It was so bad that I made a deal with my wife that we would park a few blocks down from the house and if no one showed up, we would go home.
Well, people showed up and I reluctantly opened the door to my first small group. It was your typical group experience for 1995, but through casual conversation, Sam did something brilliant: he discovered that I was a musician and invited me to bring my guitar next week to “jam”. I did and was hooked for the next 18 years.
Sam tapped into something that I was passionate about and gave me a reason to show up next Tuesday night. One of our best men’s groups at Cross Point (you might want to look away if you’re Baptist) get together for Monday Night Football, drink beer and discuss the message study during halftime. Those are a few of the most committed guys to serving that we have in the entire church. When there is a family in need, they are one of the first groups called.
I am not saying that every men’s group should watch football and drink beer, but I do think that we can be more intentional about finding out what guy’s are into and reach them where they are.
And maybe don’t hold hands during the prayer. Just sayin…