When Tim and I were married, I immediately wanted to lead a small group. It’s in my DNA and I couldn’t wait to use our spiritual gifts as a team and serve our church body in this way. Tim had led a small group two years before we were married and was feeling burnt out and a little hesitant about pouring into a new group of people. I knew his decision wasn’t a “no” forever but it became a prayer request and conversation that was guided by God. In the meantime, we attended a small group for a year and both felt the nudge to move forward in starting our own. Tim was still hesitant (totally normal!) but I knew he would flourish in this role and he now he had his best friend as his partner.

We launched our group with a two-month old. One transition is enough to handle but learning how to parent and host people in our home every week seemed a bit insane. I want you to know this detail because I still felt God pouring his grace and favor over our decision and even though the situation didn’t seem ideal, it was 100% the right decision for us. Don’t let a small thing like the size of your living room or the fear that no one will show up keep you from moving forward.

We are now two years into our community and there have been plenty of moments that have felt like there is no way we can do this. We have grown from twelve to thirty men and women, have moved homes, Tim had to take an eight-week night class on the same evening our group met, and we are expecting our second child in March. But God always provides, always shows up in ways we couldn’t imagine.

Tim has seen the fruit that comes from trusting God and taking a step of faith in saying “yes.”

He also has nights where he is really tired and doesn’t feel “into it.” So, we pray for energy, strength, and compassion for ourselves and our community. Now, we committed to another full year this September and honestly, we couldn’t be more grateful.

But, if your spouse is hesitant or nervous about leading a small group, pray and give them space. You know them, and their spiritual gifts and I believe you can encourage the strengths you see in them. If your spouse swings extremely to the introvert side and gets hives in social settings, then maybe find a different way to serve as a team. You never want to force anyone into such a big commitment.

If you still feel strongly about leading a small group, offer to take more leadership roles in the group you already attend. Trust me, as leaders, we love when people volunteer to lead discussion, plan a group event or serve as the welcoming committee. I believe God always opens doors to use our gifts to grow the church.