Many Christians reach a point in their small group relationship where they realize, “This isn’t working anymore. I need to see other small groups.”
It’s a tricky situation, fraught with unique challenges. Do you take the passive-aggressive route: Just stop showing up? Make excuses until eventually they stop calling?
Can you skip group without looking like you’re skipping God, because you still love him, right? Do you organize a mutiny and try to take other couples with you? “I can’t keep studying the book of Job. I’m making a break for it; we’re starting a new group and heading to the border of the New Testament. I think we’ve got room for two other people in our car. Three, if someone will sit in the way back, but Hank and Stacey aren’t going to be able to make it. Don’t look back. Just run. Run!”
Do you work hard to make them want to dump you? When you host it at your house, do you serve the most disgusting dessert possible, kidney strawberry pie or blackberry beet pudding?
Do you leave out of awkwardness? “I want to talk about some bowel issues I’m having. Anyone else know what I’m talking about? Bowel issues? Here are some detailed observations I had in the bathroom this morning. I took pictures.”
Do you bring your own poetry and tell people, “God laid this fourteen-page poem about the death of my cat on my heart; I’d really like to read it to you tonight. It’s written in Klingon, so it might be a little hard to understand the first time around.”
Do you start seeing other groups on the side? And do you keep your broken group going because you like talking about football with one of the guys, and your wife likes the recipes one of the girls gives her? You can find substance elsewhere. Just start small grouping all over town until you find one you like, and once you do, you can dump the old one.
If all else fails, I guess you could just be honest. But that’s only if you don’t know a good recipe for pork pineapple white chocolate chip cookies. People hate those things. Serve a warm plate of those to your small group, and it will be over by bite two.
Have you ever had to break up with your small group?
(It’s throwback Thursday! This essay, doesn’t that word make me sound “fancy”, originally appeared in the Stuff Christians Like book. You can buy a copy of the whole book right here.)