Saturday, January 19, 2013

It Worked For Me

At the end of 2012, I felt called to lead an adult small group at our church. Since I work in family ministries, this was out of my job description and frankly not on my radar. But as we all know, a call cannot be ignored no matter how hard we try.

So in preparation for my last sermon of the year, I clearly heard God tell me to use the information in the sermon to put into a small group.  The sermon was about putting your faith into action.

The problem was that, like the rest of America, I'm too busy. And if I wanted people from the rest of America to join in, then I'd need to make this as easy as possible for them.

So using my blog ( and a smartphone app called WhatsApp, we were able to start a small group based on the Means of Grace. Each day in January we worked on participating in a different means of grace. I would blog about one each day and we stayed connected and accountable via WhatsApp. WhatsApp allows us to chat in real time. We can pray for each other on the spot. We can share ideas. We can let others know where we saw God.

It is going really well. It doesn't make up for our face time at church but it does keep us accountable and it keeps the thought for the day in our minds more often.

It could be really useful for any small group or in lieu of a meeting when we get too busy but still need to stay connected.

-Rev. Shannon E Karafanda (Hopewell UMC - Tyrone, GA)