A few months ago, we had a terribly uncomfortable moment in my Lifegroup. We were discussing some book of the Bible, when out of nowhere, a relatively new guy spoke up. He seemed tense, even a little shaky. He nervously pulled a folded piece of paper from his pocket. It made me nervous, and, he began reading to the group.
In the week prior, he had witnessed some behavior in the group that didn’t sit right with him. Truthfully, he was very bothered.
He finished reading, and the room was SILENT. No one could avoid what was said. No one could look at one another. No one knew what to do.
The moments between the end of the reading to when someone spoke up seemed to last for hours. I don’t know if I breathed at all in that gap.
Our Lifegroup leader cleared his throat. I almost couldn’t listen.
“For the sake of our discussion, I think it’s best if we come back to that. How about we talk about this at the end of group, all together?”
Everyone seemed to be consensus with his decision, and group went on.
What occurred after group was an open and honest discussion about his concerns. No one was attacked; no one felt alone in their opinions, especially the group member who voiced his concerns. In a moment of extreme vulnerability, the Lifegroup met this guy where he was at, and listened.
He still comes to Lifegroup. He’s become more engaged and involved every week since.
Honesty can be really hard to show in a Lifegroup, especially if it’s filled with people who you don’t know well. It can feel uncomfortable. It can feel risky. I wish I could say that such honesty is always met with a warm embrace. It isn’t.
Despite the risk and discomfort, honesty is a vital part of any community. People don’t need one more place to come and hide behind a mask. People need a place they can bear their hearts, a place where they can ask their questions, a place they can laugh at themselves, and a place to grow closer to Jesus through relationships.
If you feel like your Lifegroup lacks this vulnerable, transparent type of honesty, the change can start with you. You don’t have to tell the three hour version of your life story quite yet. You don’t need to indulge your deepest darkest secret necessarily.
Start by asking your Lifegroup to stand with you in praying for a need.
Tell someone about a hard part of your week.
Creating an atmosphere of honesty can be difficult. It can take time. But it can make all of the difference.