At first, Jim Wido didn’t know whether he actually wanted to be in a small group.

“I had some anxiety about it,” Jim said. “I grew up Roman Catholic, and I wasn’t exactly sure what  a small group was.”

Nonetheless, though, when Jim and his wife Teyre were approached by another couple at church about joining a small group at the beginning of this year, Jim said he thought their family should give it a shot.

“There was an exit ramp,” Jim explained, citing that the group leaders shared each couple would be free to reexamine their commitment to the group after a few month time period. “That was inviting to me. I said to Teyre, ‘let’s see how this works.'”

Though new to the small group experience, Teyre explained that while she had been in women’s Bible studies before, she and Jim had felt the need to be involved with other families in church as a family themselves.

At the first meeting, Teyre said she immediately felt at ease.

“As we shared, we found we were all there for the same reason,” Teyre said.

And Jim? Well, he found the same.

“Our first group meeting was just couples,” he said. “And what I found was that we were surrounded by other people I liked to be around. It was good to see commonalities in our ages and in our kids’ ages, and it was good hearing about what people wanted for their children as they grow older — that we’re not just the oddballs. I didn’t know what a small group was until was in one. Now I realize it’s a community to support each other in good times and bad times and to support each other in daily life.”

Teyre shared that being part of a small group not only connected their family to other people in the church but it also better connected their own family.

“Being in a small group has helped Jim and I to be on the same page spiritually,” she said.  “When something is said and we’re both there listening at the same time, we’re able to hear each others’ interpretation … It’s helped solidify our marriage and how we raise our kids. We feel like we’re on the same page for our family.”

This month at their small group meeting marked the exit ramp time that at first was so inviting to Jim, but the family won’t be taking it for myriad reasons. Not only has the small group helped the Wido as a family, but it’s also helped Jim to remain in God’s word as he goes through his work week.

“For me, when I go to church on Sunday it’s like being washed with a soapy rag … it takes the dirt away and it leaves my heart soft toward God,” Jim said. “As the week progresses the heart, like a the wet rag, dries out and gets crusty. Small group has helped me focus throughout the week. It’s helped me stay in scripture so my heart always stay soft to the Lord during the week.”

Are you interested in being in a small group this fall? Now’s the time to start thinking and praying about making space in your life for entering into connectedness. If you’re thinking about joining a small group or would like to be a small group leader, email BryanB@immanuelhome.org. 

3 thoughts on “Small Groups: The First Steps

  1. You two are such an encouragement! Thanks SO much for sharing your story! I think we can all get hung up on doing the unknown or entering into relationship with unknown people … but your story shows us that it’s worth the risk!

  2. Jim, we met at your parent’s home during the Vietnam reunion in June. I enjoyed our “church” talk on the back deck. Great to read this testimony you and Teyre shared. Keep working your faith brother. Will be praying with you and the family. God Bless. Jesse

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