The commitment

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I have a small group that I am a part of that meets every week.  And I’m going to have to miss it soon.

I’m going out of town, and there’s no way I can make it back in time.  And that really bothers me.  Even though it’s only the 3rd time I’ve missed the group in 2 years.

Because I made a commitment to the group.

When I joined, I committed to being there every week.  The people in my group aren’t imposing any guilt on me for missing.  They’re not upset.  The group will carry on without me, no problem.  Somebody else will lead the discussion that night.  Somebody else will take up the prayer requests.  Somebody else will make sure the group keeps moving forward.  The group isn’t dependent on me.

But I’m bummed I can’t be there.

I’m missing out on

  • a dynamic discussion
  • a broken-hearted request
  • a cry for help
  • an opportunity to praise God for His goodness
  • a belly laugh
  • a good meal
  • catching up on life
  • sharing my own difficulties
  • sharing my own triumphs
  • doing life with friends
  • praying for a friend
  • being prayed over

You may not like my small group (I wrote about it HERE).  But I do.  These guys challenge, encourage, and equip me to do what God’s calling me to do.  Their influence in my life is beyond measuring.

To get the most out of your small group, you’ve got to make a significant commitment. Otherwise, a small group is just a Bible study.  A group of acquaintances.  An I-have-to-go-to-that-again? meeting.  A burden.  A time-waster.  Something that takes you away from what you really want to do.  A place of forced community.

Make the commitment to the folks in your small group.  They’ll be glad you did.

And so will you.

Have you ever made the level of commitment necessary to really invest in a small group?

Have you ever seen someone not make that commitment, and burn out quickly?


Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Rick Howerton

    I’m really on board with you on this, Ben. And I think it’s important for us to realize that in today’s culture some people don’t commit until they feel connected. It may take a few people in a group a few weeks, maybe even months to commit wholeheartedly to group life and this only after they have found the group to be trustworthy, caring, and relationally safe.

    It’s my opinion that, sometimes we need to give some people the space to first Connect before expecting them to fully Commit rather than expecting everyone to Commit before Connecting.

    You da’ man, Ben. Proud to call you friend.

    • Brett Vaden

      I’m with you, Rick. While I think commitment is the next step, connection needs to come first.

      And I also agree about @BenReed:twitter . He’s da’ man.

    • Ben Reed

      Processing through your comment, @rickhowerton:twitter . I think that my comment back to you deserves more than a passing blow, so I’ll write up a post. I’ll make sure to send you the link when I’m done.

      Thanks for helping me think!