Our 40 Days of Purpose Home Group

Every Sunday afternoon my wife and I get together with 4 other couples from our church. We meet to do some light discussion of the sermon that was presented Saturday night/Sunday morning and talk about what’s going on in each others’ lives. We usually meet in Don and Lisa’s home since they were the original hosts of our group but we’re beginning to move the location around to other folks’ houses. I’ve not yet volunteered our house for a meeting point since we live pretty far away from everyone else; it makes better sense for us to come to them than v.v.

We began meeting a little over 2 years ago, in September of 2004 when our church collectively began reading Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life, over a 40-day period. The church encouraged all members (and regular non-members) to read Rick’s book, one chapter a day, and to get together in small groups to discuss the reading for the week. To help people get in groups the church had a “connection service” that let folks say what kind of group they wanted to join. My wife and I asked for a group that:

  • met on the coastside
  • had young families in it so we could share babysitting
  • met during the week because our weekends were crazy

The group that we got matched up with:

  • meets on Sundays
  • meets in Menlo Park, a 30-40 minute drive away
  • is made up of other couples with older teenagers or adult children

It was nothing like the group we asked for but it turned out to be exactly the group we needed.

Our group is mixture of folks in their 30s-50s, some have older kids, some have no kids, we work in the home, in high tech, HR, finance, biotech, and real estate. Some are new to the church, some have been going there for a decade, one of us got baptized at the end of the 40 Days. Some of us are bordering on being biblical scholars and some have never read the Bible. So you can see we’re a real homogenous group (sarcasm).

Fast forward a couple of years. The 40 Days thing is long over and now we get together and talk about the weekly sermon. We talk about God, what we’re learning about Him and what He’s doing in our lives. Over these meetings we’ve given each other advice, acceptance, support and love. We’ve turned to each other for advice on topics ranging from wine to health care to job moves. We’ve gone on retreats and projects together and been each others’ dog and babysitters. This is a fantastic group of folks whom I probably never would have met in any other way.

Every couple of months we decide to forego any sort of formal discussion and we just have a potluck and chat about life, politics, tv, and any other silly thing that has come up. These frequent breaks are probably the reason we still get together every weekend when nearly all of the other 40 Days groups broke up shortly after they finished with the book.

My wife and I used to have a babysitter who would sit with the kids while we went to home group. It was expensive (about $50-60 per week) but it was a commitment we made so we carried through with it. About a year ago we lost our regular babysitter to her fiancee so now our kids come to home group with us.

The kids know the adults in the group and look forward to the meetings, even though it means a long drive there and back again. Mostly they get to play outside or in a separate room with coloring books and a video. During the potlucks they are more free to wander and they love snuggling up with the other adults for special attention. We had a party over superbowl weekend last year and towards the end of the game, when everyone was feeling sleepy and over-stuffed each of the kids had found a non-parent lap to snuggle up into and they were camped out.

That’s one of the many things that I value about our home group. Through the group our kids have come to know non-family adults who love and care for them. They trust these folks and look forward to seeing them. I think that’s a very good thing.

It was nothing like the group we asked for but it turned out to be exactly the group we needed.

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2 Comments on “Our 40 Days of Purpose Home Group”

  1. Tina Underwood Says:

    We’ve been meeting monthly with a group of folks from our church for over 15 years, i.e. before we had kids. We meet at someone’s house on the third Sunday of the month for a potluck dinner. We sometimes talk about God or our church, but just as often we do not. Kids are welcome and we always bring our boys. It’s wonderful to know people over time and to watch everyone’s kids grow up. It’s good for us to have friends of all ages (sweet 80 yr-old Fran B. always put out great toys for our kids at her house). We’ve supported each other through life’s changes – birth, illness, death of a family member, changes in our church leadership, etc. It’s a wonderful little “community within our community”.


  2. Thanks for being so very, very, kind in saying our group is in the 30s to 50s range!

    See you Sunday,

    Medicare Mike & Bride (who is eligible for social security!)


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