26. Circles

Our network of churches has been reported as one of the largest churches in America. When I first began attending the main campus in Alpharetta, GA, in 2008 called North Point Community Church, it was quite the experience. Like most people from small towns, we’re used to going to the church we grew up in and knowing almost everyone that we see. You can imagine my reaction as I waded through a sea of thousands of people when I first walked through those doors to try and find a seat in the huge “auditorium” as it quickly filled to capacity. This church is so big, it has an almost mirror image replica auditorium on the other side of the stage, complete with a separate band and live video feed on large screens to show the pastor in the main room.

The campus we now attend, Woodstock City Church, is not as large in that we don’t have a second auditorium because we are in a smaller area in North Metro Atlanta and this campus is much newer to the area, but we are growing in leaps and bounds. Because the campus populations are so large, it has been a vital part of our church’s mission to focus much of their efforts on helping to “make a big church feel small.” In my opinion, they do a wonderful job at this because they hold events twice a year called GroupLink, which helps attendees to join what we call “small groups.” These small groups are a collection of people that meet weekly outside of Sunday services to participate in Bible studies or group curriculum, much of which is published by the church. If you are a guy looking for a group of guys to meet with to talk about life, or a woman looking for women who want to form relationships outside of the walls of the church, you can join a Men’s or Women’s small group which consists of anywhere between 6-9 men or women (not co-ed) and you go from there. If you’re a married couple that wants to create a group with like-minded married Christian couples, they typically have groups of 4-6 couples (8-12 people) in a Married Couples small group. We have been privileged to be a part of all these types of groups over the past 7 years since starting to participate in small groups.

The mindset that our church has behind this is that “circles are better than rows,” essentially meaning that it’s one thing to come to church on a Sunday and sit in a row with people you’ll likely not see again, or at least remember seeing.  Your best next step if you’ve been attending one of our church campuses for any length of time and want to connect on a deeper level with other Christians, you can join a small group. They have a near-flawless system of matching you with people that are in the area of town you live and want to meet in order to make it easy for you to commit your attendance.

What I want to talk about today is not necessarily gathering with a group of people regularly to talk about your faith or relationship with God, though I highly recommend you add that to your weekly routine because the benefits of forming those relationships are such a treasure. What I want to discuss instead is something that I struggle with personally and I’m sure you may feel as though you have room for improvement in this area yourself. I am such an introvert and it makes my skin crawl to think about signing up to attend a professional networking group, and knowing that the people who are there are likely regular attendees and know many of the others there and I’m just the elephant in the room that everyone recognizes as a new face in the crowd.

It’s time to start taking these writings that I share with you each week to the next level. I’ve had several people reach out to me since I began writing this blog, sharing encouraging words about how they enjoy what I talk about, but my vision for this site has always been to grow my engagement with those of you that keep up with these topics and to really dive deep into discussions about the topic at hand and use each other’s experiences and contributions as a way of growing ourselves into better individuals.

Going forward with this site:

I am going to start incorporating more resources that I have personally utilized in my own life and use them to help foster better, deeper conversations with my readers. As 2017 is quickly coming to a close, there will be a couple of weeks where I will be posting outside of my normal Thursday routine and starting in January, my plan is to move the posts to Sunday evenings. In the meantime, if you read my blog regularly, I am praying that you will consider helping me to spread the word about this site by sharing it on social media or in conversations you have during the week with someone you feel may benefit from the topics we cover here. It is my hope that this site becomes deeply interactive and more two-sided than me just writing about something and hoping that the experiences or lessons I have shared has helped you in some way as you go about your day.

Although we’re not gathering in rows like we do at church, it is my hope that we can move together into a circle and form relationships and meaning with each other. Over the course of 2018 and beyond, I will be sharing new types of content including interviews with successful people in my life that I’ve learned so much from, as well as looking for books that we can read together and discuss about topics such as leadership, personal growth and other topics that we often struggle with from time to time.

So I hope you will stick with me and begin to share this site with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe so that they can get a notification each week as new posts are published. To make it easy for you to share my site, below you’ll find links to share a post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more! Comply click the link and post it to your preferred network! I really appreciate those of you who have continually checked in each week and hopefully something I’ve said or talked about has helped you in some way to make a positive change in your own life.

Don’t forget, below this post, you’ll see buttons for sharing this site on your favorite social media platforms or through email and text messages! Stay tuned because next week’s post is going to be a very important one where I share more about a story from my life that I haven’t really talked about yet in this blog. You won’t want to miss it!


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