A Few Questions and Answers about God Spots
For several weeks, we’ve been talking about God Spots at The Church Next Door, and for three weeks we’ve been actually doing them. As a result, a lot of people are asking a lot of questions about them. “Are God Spots the same as small groups? Are God Spots taking the place of small groups? Why would I join a God Spot? Why would I lead one? How do you do them?”
I had many of these same questions when Pastor Doyle first brokered the idea of doing God Spots to me. After a few weeks of putting God Spots together and putting them out to our TCND family, I have a couple answers. I thought it would be good to share those answers with you.
Are God Spots The Same As Small Groups?
The answer to this question is, “No.” God Spots are not the same as small groups and are not taking the place of small groups. God Spots are to small groups what my Geo Tracker is to an RV. There are admittedly similarities between the two. They are both vehicles. They both have wheels, they both have engines, they both can transport people, etc. But none of us would call them “the same”.
All of us would immediately understand that they are significantly different types of vehicles and are meant to be used in significantly different ways. A good proof of this fact is that I once saw an RV towing a Geo Tracker down the freeway. He was using both vehicles on a recreational trip. As soon as I saw that, I understood what that guy intended to do. I knew that once he parked his RV in the place where he would sleep, he would then drive the smaller, faster, easier to drive, and cheaper to maintain Geo Tracker to the places he wanted to go.
It is the same when it comes to small groups and God Spots. Small groups are RVs. They are big, they last for a long time, they don’t move fast. God Spots are Geo Trackers; they are small and quick but you can’t sleep in them. So though there are similarities between the two, it still remains that they are different vehicles and have different purposes.
Are God Spots Taking The Place Of Small Groups?
Again, the answer to this question is, “No.” Actually, the answer to this question is, “That’s not even possible.” It is no more possible for God Spots to take the place of small groups than for a Geo Tracker to take the place of an RV (or vice versa) for the reasons we just described. Though both are vehicles, each is a vehicle of a different type and is made for a different purpose. So God Spots will not take the place of small groups. They can’t take the place of small groups. They just can’t get to the place small groups are going. They are going to their own place.
Why Would I Join or Lead a God Spot?
The answer to this question is rooted in the answer about its place. A person would join or lead a God Spot because while it is not going to the same place a small group (or worship service or any other spiritual group) is going, it is going someplace. It is going someplace good, someplace worth going to.
God Spots go into fellowship; they are giving you the chance to interact with the people around you (more about that in a paragraph or two). God Spots go into discipleship. They are giving you the chance to see how the Kingdom of God is intersecting with your life and how it could intersect with your life in an even better way. God Spots go into something that is very much like a spiritual family dinner. They have food, they have relationship, they have home, and they have God. I think all of us would agree that dinners like these are nice experiences. Well, that’s exactly what God Spots are: nice experiences with God and other people.
How Do I Start a God Spot?
To answer this question, I have to give you are term I use often. That term is orbit. By orbit, I mean the people who are routinely around you, the people you encounter every day and are close to: family, neighbors, friends.
The best way to start a God Spot is simply to invite these people into one. You’re not going to have much success inviting people outside your orbit to a God Spot. This is due to the simple fact that these people are, by definition, outside your orbit. They aren’t close to you and aren’t likely to interact with you.
I’m not likely to get a Hollywood star into my God Spot because they are not in my orbit. I’m not likely to get someone from Reynoldsburg or Pataskala into my God Spot for the same reason. If I base my God Spot on people outside my orbit, I’m not going to have a God Spot.
But my children are in my orbit. My parents are in my orbit. My next door neighbors on both sides of my house are in my orbit. I’m much more likely to have success with them. They are much more likely to come over for a meal or snack, watch a video with me, and have a little discussion about it. This is how Jesus operated. He began His earthly ministry by working with those in His orbit, with people who were literally His family and friends. This is how God Spots operate as well.
How Do I Lead a God Spot?
You lead a God Spot by doing the same thing you do any time you put together a piece of Ikea furniture or fix something in our house with a YouTube video: you just follow the instructions.
Here’s how the material for a God Spot is packaged: we put together short video lessons (eight minutes or so), we wrote a discussion guide with step-by-step directions to go allow with these videos, and we uploaded both the videos and guides to YouTube. You can find an example here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FRzqse7KEM&t=4s.
You get your family and friends together, you give them some food, you start the video (just about everyone can stream YouTube to their TVs nowadays; if you can’t, get in touch and we’ll help you), and you go along with the guide. It is that simple, but it has the potential to inspire the people you have gathered with some profound ideas.
Saying “Yes” to God
So those are the questions and answers that have been asked and answered about God Spots the past couple weeks. Let me leave you with just one more. Pastor Doyle has been telling us about saying “Yes” to God, that is, doing what we feel God is inviting us to do. So I ask You: is God inviting you to start a God Spot with the people in your orbit? Is God inviting you to drive this smaller, faster vehicle for a little while? And if so, are you going to say “Yes” to Him?
If you are, text me at 614-412-2144. I’d love to know how your God Spot is going and how I can help!