This is the second of a series of posts explaining what I did at Rockbridge chapter camp for the last two weeks. I helped staff the Identity Transformed track. This post highlights my role as a small group leader.
In every Rockbridge track, small groups are a key component as we engage the material — whether it be evangelism, Kingdom values/ethics, or identity in Christ — because, more than just words on a page or from a speaker, relationship with others is an important facet of how God communicates with us.
Some small group members talk a lot, some a little. Some are long-time Christians, some began following Jesus only 5 months ago. Some have questions about God, some have questions about themselves. Because the students don’t know each other, we have to build trust. We do all our track activities together — morning scripture discussion, listening to talks, set-up/clean-up duty for meals, nightly meeting and prayer. And both weeks, I saw the Lord work through my small group. He helped people make connections and open up to each other.
Especially for our track — which deals with how we are ruled by false identities or the true identity of Christ, masks we wear, and other deep issues — small groups are important because we need space to share our stories or struggles. As Jesus presses into these deeper places or questions, we are forced beyond intellectual processes into genuine soul-searching and decisions. Without a place like small group, that examination can be frightening and impossible. But when small groups are at their best — people are genuine, vulnerable, considerate, and relationally present with each other — then that journey is easier, and we can be supported and encouraged.
One of my greatest joys is seeing members become comfortable with these people they met just days before. Students grow to care about each other as we share thoughts from the day or questions God has raised. In processing together, students often become more open not only to each other’s stories, but to what God is trying to do in them. For me as a staff, the trust we built in small group enabled me to have key conversations with many students regarding barriers to an identity solely in Christ. Thank the Lord for small groups!