Ben and I had begun leading a co-ed small group at the beginning of the semester. God was doing something incredible in the group. We asked each person in the group to simply come each week with a verse that God had been using in their life that week.
God brought together verses that otherwise no one would have known. Each week a theme emerged. One week it was about how God’s promises are true. Another week was something along the lines of God loves us.
God was truly beginning to move in our group and it was quite amazing. I had spent time convincing Ben to let go of planning, and in him doing so, God began to truly move. He began to sweep through our group each week. Everyone brought a verse and God seemed to weave them all together.
But where God moves the enemy will move also.
Not too far in we received a visitor. This visitor was interesting to say the least. He had a massive amount of head knowledge about the Bible. He shared what he knew and I think in at least the first meeting had a positive impact.
That’s when things began to get interesting…the next week he showed up I wasn’t there. But I heard about it from several people after and apparently it did not go over well at all. He was presumably interrupting people constantly, seemed to not really have anything to say that added to the discussion.
The following week though I was able to see some of this myself. That week we butted heads.
The visitor was becoming a stumbling block to the others who attended and I was not going to allow what God had established to crash down around us. We prayed and talked with others in the group, and those who knew more than us. We made the final decision to ask him not to return.
Note that this decision was made so that the group as a whole could continue to benefit from God meeting us. We did not make the decision simply because we didn’t like him or something similar. Both Ben and I had worked with abrasive personalities before.
This was a time when God taught me exactly how the elders functioned. They led and exercised authority when it was necessary for them to do so.
This semester was the first time when we realized it was absolutely necessary for us to exercise authority that was given to us.
Since asking him to leave we saw a rebound in the group. The group had been extremely open, closed down when he arrived, and after leaving it opened up again.
This also was our first encounter with an evil spirit. You see it was not the actual person who caused the issue. It was the enemy using that person as a vessel. Whether they knew it or not, I don’t know.
Community group this semester was exactly what I’d been looking for for nearly two years now. I’d finally found a community where people met to just meet God.