Carving out a 90-minute block of time for a small group to meet does not sound like too difficult a task, but trying to work around the schedules of 6 or 8 other people is a feat that almost deserves a spot in the Olympics.
My current small group almost did not get off the ground. I recall its inception, almost seven years ago, when a handful of us were crying out for some time apart to discuss God's Word and to reflect and pray together.
"How are Monday evenings for you?" I asked.
"Good. No, wait! That's the night I tutor, but Tuesdays are good."
"Not for me," said Julie. "Alfred has soccer practice over in Plain City on Tuesday and Thursday night, and I have to drive him."
"Yeah. Thursdays are no good. I have a class," Sue said.
"Hmmm. Well, Wednesday is out because it conflicts with other church meetings. I don't suppose anyone wants to do Fridays, do they?"
"I work every other Friday and Saturday," said Jane, a registered nurse.
That left Sunday, and nobody wanted to schedule something on a Sunday.
Most people worked during the day, so daytime meetings were out, except for Saturdays.
"Saturdays are my only day to run errands," someone said.
"How about breakfast on Saturdays, before heading out to run errands?" It suddenly got very quiet.
Jen broke the silence, "I hate to sound less-than-spiritual, but that's my only morning to sleep in." Everyone laughed and nodded, then sighed with relief.
This discussion, or something like it, took place on a regular basis. Each time we came to the same conclusion: There was no good time that worked for everyone. That always stopped us in our tracks.
With the pace of modern life what it is, are small groups going the way of the horse-and-buggy? I do not think so. The challenges just require some ...