It was not too long ago when God had entrusted me with ladies to disciple and I had shared here my hearts and rants in becoming a DGroup leader for the first time. I must admit, it had been a series of phases wherein God had allowed me to experience both failures and victories. 2018 I started leading 4 beautiful ladies and through the blessings amid the pandemic, my small DGroup grew exponentially from 4 to 12 in 2020. Indeed, each life given to disciple is a blessing but as much as I want to deny the effects of the pandemic on me, it’s becoming evident and it’s slowly eating me inside as a DGroup leader. This is how I would confess my DGroup experience in this time of the pandemic, so please bear with me.
I am so proud that God had sustained our DGroup for the whole of 2020. Waking up way early for a Sunday and even finished GLC together is something we have accomplished together. The twelve ladies may not be always present altogether in meetings but I can see the consistencies of a few. However, despite the consistency, there’s still something missing. Behind the frequent and creative ways on how we could bond together through online games and fellowship, things weren’t the same. I was contemplating for months and I must admit that doing DGroup and fellowship over video calls can never replace the physical ones, at least for me it matters. Please don’t get me wrong, I cannot speak on behalf of other DGroup leaders and I know there are effective DGroup ways like Skypleship of CCF Beyond to reach out to our brothers and sisters abroad or those who are limited by the location.
Doing physical DGroup brings different challenges while doing online DGroup is a whole different story. I feel like I am not cut for it. How could you mold a strong bond when you are literally far apart? There’s always this pang of regret inside of me thinking that we could have been doing a lot more and our relationship as a group could have been stronger had it not been because of the pandemic. And this is exactly why I know for a fact that Long-Distance Relationships (LDR) won’t work for me. I am a people person and I know others would agree that nonverbal communications can be best expressed and reciprocated personally than virtually. Virtual access and privilege can also bring challenges that may not be resolved virtually. There’s something with having DGroups online that makes you feel disconnected despite the connection.
I am grateful that my first batch of ladies are now moving on to the next phase of their lives and we are still openly communicating however, my heart is mourning for the new ladies. Almost half of the ladies were able to meet each other in person and somehow had the impression of the other ladies in real life (if you know what I mean). On the other hand, the other half is purely virtual, and I really felt that besides the computer screen, there’s something in between that blocks the relationship from flourishing. I totally understand why those difficulties are happening and beyond the lack of physical presence, the technology sometimes fails us as well. As weeks and months passed by this 2021, I could see how few they have become. I understand the new level of distraction this ‘new normal’ can actually bring because believe me, I am experiencing the same. A lot of external factors can be mentioned but I know in the end, God can always sustain us. So why Am I posting this for? This is for my heart. Which I thought was strong enough to let these pandemic challenges pass and to wait for it to end, but I was wrong.
It has been always said to me that I should focus all my energy on those who are left and consistently attending. Believe me, I am trying to do that. But Jesus also taught me to never stop finding a lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7). My heart as a DGroup leader is mourning for my DGroup and while few are still consistent, I could not stop thinking about the rest. I was actually encouraged by one of my previous disciples saying that I shouldn’t worry too much because my sheep knows my voice (John 10:27-28) and it did uplift my spirits that night. I am seriously taking this time off to pray for my frail heart to no longer allow discouragements from keeping me running fast in this race. The book of Proverbs has been slowly growing in me and the deeper I read through its chapters, I could feel the yearning to acquire more wisdom from what God has been trying to teach me and seek the understanding to learn from it.
Will you pray with me on this? Pray that I continue running the race with the task I am called for – to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20); Pray that I continue to be sustained by the Holy Spirit with wisdom and understanding that all of these is not for me but to Jesus alone; Pray that whatever I do here on earth, my ultimate goal is to please the Lord (2 Corinthians 9-10); and pray for a breakthrough as I go through this phase.
Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.Only One Life by C.T. Studd
For my readers who are not yet leading their own DGroups, please do not let my struggles be a stumbling block or an excuse to not lead. This is a phase I know I can recover from and I am well aware of the joy, the blessings, the benefits of leading a DGroup. I just know that from being open about this, I know I am finding my strength to carry on. For me readers who are already leading their own DGroups, I am open to correction. Please. How do you do it? Please let me know in the comments sections and I would love to learn from you. My lackings may be other peoples’ abundance and I am looking forward to self-improvements as I go through this process.
Any words of encouragement for me?