I was involved in a group leader training session recently when the leader asked the group to do the following exercise: "Take off your watch and put it in your pocket. Now take a piece of paper and draw your watch in as much detail as you can without looking at your watch." After a few minutes of drawing circles, lines, and numbers, we were instructed to take our watch back out of our pocket and see how we did on our drawing. The startling thing to me was how much I (and others in the group) had left off our drawings. Sure, the face was there and the hands were there, but I didn't even get the Roman numerals correct.
Estimates say that I probably look at my watch fifty to one-hundred times per day, yet I could not even draw it with good detail. It reminded me of James 1:22-24: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at this face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."
I can look into God's Word many times during the week, in fact, we look into the Word at most of our group times together. However, I often just settle for the information the Word provides me rather than the transformation that it offers. I feel good and think I am progressing in spiritual maturity when I know a lot of Biblical information, but these things will only be forgotten if I don't become transformed into Christlikeness as a result.
How do you know if people in your group are being transformed rather than just informed?As you look at the lives of people with whom you are in community, ask, "Is there more Christlikeness at a heart level today than six months or a year ago?" ...