You caught me… I have been spending a little time on dictionary.com.
“Maximally” is a word. I knew that the word “minimally” was a word, from the now common term “minimally-invasive surgery.” But, I needed to look up to see if “maximally” was really a word.
This thought came to mind when I was watching a DVD of a message by Andy Stanley. He was talking about small groups and doing life together with other people. It is a biblical mandate that many of believers ignore. As he was talking about small groups and how it might not be pretty and it might be uncomfortable, but it is what we are supposed to do and what we are commanded to do.
For as long as I have been studying church and how it works, I have known that there is a principle that says… “Life-change has its best opportunity to happen in small groups.” I have been in several different small groups throughout my life and I have never walked away disappointed. I also honestly have never been really that excited to get into them, but they have always been positive experiences.
I think that the thing that is critically vital to having a positive small group experience is that you have to allow the group to become maximally-invasive. You don’t want to come out of the experience without change, and unfortunately change can hurt.
If you have ever caught “Dr. 90210” or any other show that shows you the process of cosmetic surgery, you know that right after the surgery and for quite some time after the surgery the patient is very sore. But, the patient is usually really happy with the results.
I keep coming to a recurrent theme; Life is not meant to be comfortable and convenient. Our current culture hails comfort and convenience as hallmarks of a good life. The results of living a comfortable and convenient life are mostly seen in immediate gratification, but are tantamount to little lifelong success.
The Message states Hebrews 12:11 like this: “At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.”
I am about to start into a new small group at the beginning of the year, and if I am being honest, I am not looking forward to it. I am looking forward to what it can produce… but, I know it is going to be painful.
I guess the wrap up would look simply like this… Maximally-invasive small groups will pay off.
or even more pointed…. Suck it up, and jump in!