As you think through your small group system, one of the questions that you have to answer is: Who are these groups for? Are you creating groups strictly for believers to be discipled, or are they a front door for your church? Or maybe all of the above? If you answered the question with – all of the above, then things are going to start getting interesting. People with all kinds of junk in their life will suddenly want to join a group. There will be pressure to single out certain sins that may possibly disqualify someone.
But here is the tricky part; if we say from the stage that everyone needs community – are there exceptions to that statement? And where do we draw that line?
What about the guy that is cheating on his wife?
What about the couple that is living together outside of marriage?
What about the alcoholic that told her husband that she didn’t have a drink last night?
What about that non-Christian coworker that hasn’t been inside a church in 10 years?
I hold tightly to the idea that no one sin should disqualify someone from community. I believe that Jesus modeled this for us when he chose to break bread with tax collectors and prostitutes. Even his personal small group was filled with some serious sinners.
I am not going to pretend that that this is an easy endeavor for our Groups team. It takes a mature leader to be able to handle the questions that come from opening their group to messy people. But in the end, it is worth it. I love that our church is a place where everyone is welcome, no one is perfect and anything can happen.