Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
Hi all. Sorry for the silly title. I couldn’t resist. Also, that’s how I feel sometimes, like a Yankee invading the South. But they are very nice to me.
So, I recently started going to what we call a Journey Group at Stonepoint. Journey Groups are home Bible studies that meet during the week, in lieu of traditional Sunday School. It has been an enjoyable time for me but I has been a little adjusting to make. I thought I would pass on a few of my thoughts about Journey Group. Those of you in Journey Groups probably know this already, but here goes.
First, it has been a bit of an adventure finding people’s houses. At first we met at one house and I did a test run to find it. So for two weeks I did fine. Then I was informed that we were moving to Coach Mark and Betty Bachtel’s house. I got instructions via my cell phone and headed out the first week to find it. I knew I was in the area but had a little, well a lot of trouble finding the house. So I reached into my pocket for my cell phone…it wasn’t there. Yes, I left it sitting on the table at home. I was so disappointed. I drove around some more trying to find the house and finally just drove home in disgust. The following week I made sure I had my cell phone and I got a little clarification on the directions from Betty. This time, Success!! It was so exciting!!!! So first, challenge of Journey Group met–find house. check!
Cows and a Puppy, Being a city boy Yankee, cows are a lot of fun to me. They played an important role in my very first trip to Stonepoint 18 months ago. More on that some other time. When I got out of my car I saw this little group of seven or eight cows. I watched them for a few minutes and wanted so badly to go out and make friends with them. But I really wasn’t sure who owned them and didn’t want to scare them. When I got into the house, I found out they belonged to coach. So, I decided that next time I would try to make friends with them. Inside the house I met the family dog. I can’t really call him a puppy but he was sweet and we became friends. So challenge two met–meet new friends. Check.
As a group, we then had dinner then sat down to start our Bible study. Enters, Coach Mark. I must admit, I find him to be an amazing man. I was around when he had his accident at the football game. I prayed, like we all did, and rejoiced when I heard he was finally able to come home. But meeting him and hearing his teaching and what the Lord has taught him through this accident was amazing. I don’t want to say too much because I imagine, Coach won’t like all the accolades. He is humble and will just the Lord gets all the glory. We are going to be going through the book of Nehemiah in our group. I am totally looking forward to it.
This last part may be a little hard for me to explain. It is about the people in the group and prayer. Shamefully, I don’t even know all the names of the people in our group yet. But what I can say about them is that they are real. I have been in home groups in other churches in Colorado where I lived. They were nothing like the groups at Stonepoint. I don’t want to say anything disparaging about them but the groups I was in were superficial and generally made me and my wife not to go. Not that we were great or anything, but I always had the thought throughout my times in churches that there must be something more and that we were missing something. I don’t really know where those thoughts came from. But these people were different. They really care about each other. They meet and help each other out such as when Duane Wells moved down to San Antonio. Some of the group even went down to San Antonio to help him unpack. To be honest, I found that amazing for a Journey Group. There seemed to be no pretense at the meeting. People were honest and when they had struggles with things, spiritual or otherwise, they had no problem admitting it.
Finally, there was closing prayer. Oh, no. It wasn’t just a prayer thanking God for the evening and then we go. They made a list of people to pray for, many of whom I knew nothing about. But the rest of the group knew them. I was asked to pray at our last meeting. I felt a little awkward at first because I wasn’t even sure how to pray for some of them. But I told the group I would pray for those that I knew what and how to pray for them. They were fine with that.
So, I don’t know if this really says anything to you. But my observation and participation in Journey Group has had a somewhat profound impact on me. And the thing that impresses me is that the Journey Group I am in is just a sample of what Stonepoint is, or can be. Again, if I may be brutally honest. Coming to Stonepoint was a totally refreshing experience for me as far a a church that I have never had before. Journey Group was just another step in the process to grow closer to the Lord and the body here. Please get involved if you are not in a group. Yes, it will cost you time and energy and your flesh won’t always like it. But I urge you and me to step out of ourselves and give to the Lord and to the body of Christ. God bless you all!!