So today I was rather out of my comfort zone.......but ended up having a blast!!
For those of you who are familiar with this personality test, I score as an ESFJ.
I did this test as part of our church's membership class.....I took it in 2005 and hadn't taken it since. Until this afternoon. I wanted to see how I've changed, if at all. I am more extroverted as an adult than I was as a child or teen but....I am still more of an introvert than my very extroverted husband.
In order of percentages (highest to lowest) I am feeling, sensing, judging and extrovert. I tend to feel more at ease in small group situations rather than a large crowd unless most of the people in the crowd are my close friends. I definitely am feelings based and tend to judge situations/people.
So.......here's how this all relates to my title:
The small group my husband is in, and that I attend part time, decided to attend one of our other church sites today to watch one of the ladies get baptized. This woman told her testimony to our group a couple of weeks before Christmas. We all have shared our testimonies and have learned a bit about each other. Keep in mind though that I have not felt too attached to this group....I don't have the emotional energy to get emotionally involved in this group due to leading and being so emotionally involved in my own small group. I've shared about that recently. In fact, I am no longer attending it regularly...just once a month or so.
But...when my hiking plans fell through today due to the extreme wind and bitter cold temperatures (plus a layer of ice that I am not equipped for), I decided to go to our sister site (across the river from our own church/the main campus) with my husband and our teen daughter for the 11 a.m. service. We don't know anyone at this site other than the lead pastor and even then we don't know him well.
Almost everyone from the small group was there, plus our daughter and a couple of the spouses who don't attend the group. We all sat together. And I found myself not really liking the change....each site does worship a little bit differently...and I prefer ours! But....God grabbed a hold of me.....He reminded me that I was there to support a new friend, and to worship HIM! Step one in getting out of my comfort zone was to embrace the songs and style of our sister site.
And.....afterwards, 2 of the couples suggested we all go to this restaurant for lunch. At first, I cringed inside. I don't like making small talk with people I barely know!! Claire had to study for 2 major mid-terms for tomorrow! (Global History and Latin). She needed to practice driving. I had my small group lesson to finish prepping. I had to clean the kitchen. I wanted to work out. I wanted to read the newspaper. I wanted to visit blogs. 3 of the couples couldn't make it due to other obligations so it ended up being Dave and I and our new friends Annette & Greg, and Betsy and Kevin. Yet....I was dreading the small talk...the awkwardness of trying to chat without really knowing someone. But.....then I remembered that we all shared our stories and already know some of the "deeper" things in our souls and in our pasts.
And...God prompted me again that doing life together is the way we are to live as Believers. We are in a mega-church! It is impossible to know everyone at all 4 sites. It is just impossible. Heck, we can't even know everyone at our own site because we average about 2800 people over the 3 services on the weekend!! And my husband really needs the community and fellowship...way more than I do. He is much more "alive" when around people. I am much more "alive" in the woods and on the mountain tops! And Claire...she just liked the idea of trying a new-to-us eating establishment. (odd how we have 2 in our immediate area yet we've never been!). On the way down the street (the restaurant is only like a block away from that church), I kept thinking "what in the world am I going to talk about with Annette and Betsy?" "What if Claire is totally bored and keeps checking her smart phone" (she wasn't and didn't!). "I really just want to go home". Yet...Dave.....he does so much for me....how can I not do this for him?? And...I'm a small group LEADER!! I know what the vision is!!
The entire vision of our small groups ministry is to be in community together!! To do life. Together.
As covenant members, we are definitely supposed to lead by example.
Doing lunch with 2 other couples was a blast!! Nope....we don't know them all that well. Yes, we had tons of laughs, good food, excellent service, great conversation and ......on the way out the door at the meal's end, we ran into very old friends...from our previous church...whom we hadn't seen since 2005!! How cool is that?? In fact, I could have been uncomfortable with that too since we left that church with many people upset at our leaving......yet....time (10 years to be exact), has passed and it was not weird at all to chat with these folks. I even got to see their 2 young adult children who are both married and their spouses were there!
Why am I writing all of this on my blog?
To encourage you to get out of your comfort zone if you are more of an introvert like me............yeah...I'm an extrovert to a certain degree...but really...I would have loved to just come home, make dinner and curl up with a good book after my workout.
Do something new.....stretch your self....do life together with the people God is putting in your path. You'll have a blast!
Did all the things I mentioned needing doing get done? you betcha!!
God redeemed my time....I had the liberty to say YES today and feel good about it. Only with His grace.