It’s 6:20 a.m. and I roll over to turn my alarm off. It’s Saturday. I reluctantly get out of bed, and head to the washroom. My clothes are laid out and ready to go. I quickly get dressed and head downstairs. I grab my water bottle and a banana—the coffee will come later. By 6:40 a.m., I am in the car driving. Even I am shocked that I am out and driving at this time of the morning. I keep telling myself it will be worth it.
You see a few months ago, I was invited to the recently formed group, Soul Movers. Like most groups, I expect it started with two or three women who wanted to improve themselves and support each other. So, they started meeting early Saturday mornings for a run. It was a time that worked for them. It was a time that worked for me, even though I groaned at the idea of getting up that early on a Saturday!
By 7 a.m. there were eight of us (six women, one man, and a dog) warming up. Before we departed, one of the women read a Bible verse to focus our run. And we were off. One darted ahead quickly because she had another morning commitment she had to get to, but the rest joined up in groups of two or three, to keep each other motivated. There was laughter, there was movement, there was encouragement, and there was enjoyment. Almost too soon, we had finished our run around this beautiful trail.
Afterwards, we joined up for coffee at a close by restaurant. (New members are even welcomed with a free coffee.) We share our stories. We reflect on a passage of scripture. We close our time in prayer.
Although the group is new, and I am one of the newer members, I already look forward to this group. It is only Thursday as I write this, and I can barely wait for the posting for this Saturday’s run. In a few short weeks, these individuals have become friends.
Although this is not an official small group of my congregation, all the participants are from my church. This group is strengthening the congregation. This group is strengthening me. I had not been participating in a Bible study group because life was too busy, but now I have a group to share scripture and prayer with. I was already running, but this group motivates me to keep it up. And, Saturdays are different now. When I get home, there is a spring in my step and a smile on my face.
I love that this group sprung from the church. I love that it connects us both to Christian community and to God. I love that this is a place where I can invite other friends, maybe those who love running, but haven’t yet connected to a life of faith. I still don’t love seeing 6:20 a.m. on my alarm clock and I check the temperature obsessively leading up to the weekend, but somethings are worth getting out of bed for.
Do you already participate in a small group that connects a ‘hobby’ to your faith? Maybe you participate in a knitting group, book club, or a sports team. Maybe you would like to. What small group might you be able to begin that can strengthen you and your church?