Last Saturday was my first official weekend at the Crossings. I was feeling a little stabby and resentful about going, and was having a very passive-aggressive reaction. I told God, "Ok, I'll GO to services, and attend Divorce Care, but I'm NOT getting involved in any other way until after Divorce Care is over!!" Yeah, right.
Last weekend's service was all about getting involved in a "life group". Life groups are small groups that meet in someone's home once a week. The Crossing has hundreds to choose from, depending on the night you prefer meeting, and the area where you want to meet. Pastor Greg was talking about how you need the protection, challenge and accountability of strong fellowships, referencing Ecclesiastes 4:8-12 (among others).
They had a kiosk set up in the lobby with pamphlets for each life group. I grabbed a pamphlet for the only South Tampa meeting on a Friday night, and a few that are meeting down in Riverview. Since I'm not moving until the end of October, I was on the fence about where to go and what to do. On Sunday, I called the couple hosting the South Tampa life group, and had to leave a message. I called again Tuesday night, no answer. I was a little wary at this point, and wasn't sure what to do. Friday morning I finally got a call back: somehow she had missed my message from Sunday and had just listened to it that morning.
I went, and was overwhelmed by how God works in each and every one of our lives. The group varies in age and their stories are soooo powerful. I felt instantly at home with all of these people, and the sense of community is awesome. I can definitely see that I am going to be challenged to grow and develop in this church. God knows what He is doing: I am being ministered to in divorce care on Tuesday nights (and yes, I definitely need this -- I have no idea why I was in denial for so long), and I am going to be challenged to dig deeper into the Word on Friday nights and in Sunday services.
The church has a couple of really cool classes. One is for new believers, called The Journey, which teaches basic Bible facts, and gets them settled on a firm Biblical foundation. The other is for newcomers, called 26.2, which helps them uncover their spiritual gifts and meet the leaders of the different ministries so they can get plugged in to serve. The next 26.2 starts October 11, and I will be going.
I am blessed beyond measure, and I know that God's discipline is painful when it comes, but it is always for our GOOD. I am so excited about the future!!