When There’s No Time for Dinner Group

I recently got an email from someone who was hesitant about committing to a dinner group. They were having trouble making it work with the demanding hours of a new job. We’ve all been there, whether it’s a hectic job or another commitment weighing down our schedule.

That’s why I was so glad they had the courage to ask the question. What do you do when you don’t have time for dinner group?

The answer, quite simply, is to try. Give it just six weeks. I think you’ll find it will be some of the best 90 minutes to two hours of your week. At the end of the day, it requires a step of faith.

When I first started attending Hoboken Grace, I was in a similar situation. I moved to Hoboken in 2008 to work for JPMorgan. Being that I worked at an investment bank at an entry level, I was working 60 to 70 hours a week, busting my butt trying to prove myself and find my value. By the time I got home I was wiped and exhausted. That got old real quick. It had only been nine months, and the lifestyle of work hard play hard was starting to get to me.

Then one Sunday a man named Steve invited me to join his dinner group. I hesitated to say yes because I wasn’t getting home ’til 8 or 9, and by that point, I just wanted to go home, kick my shoes off and relax. I didn’t feel like I had the capacity for one more thing.

Finally, I went and it was nothing like I’ve ever experienced. I was surround by a group of guys who were in their late 20s who were either married or in a serious relationship. The odd thing to me was how much they loved their wives and others. It was so counter-cultural to what I was experiencing in life. It wasn’t that I wanted to be married like them, but that I wanted to be as loving as they were. I came to find out much later it’s because of the relationship they had with God that allowed them to love in such sacrificial ways.

I knew I’d need to make time for dinner group if I wanted to be like them. The week I decided that was the week before the financial industry was collapsing in September 2008, and I had a front-row seat for it. My hours increased all the more, but I knew it was more important for me to be in that group. It meant I had to ask my manager if I could leave early at 7:30 p.m. on a Monday to make group. Thankfully, that conversation was a heck of a lot less scary than it was in my head. I’m not sure where the courage came from to ask, but I’m glad I did. Joining a dinner group  helped save my life because when life came my way I was glad I had a community of believers around me continuing to point me toward God and the right path. I’m not sure what my life would look like without my group.

Sundays are great — we get to worship together and hear a relevant message. But in a group, you’ll find growth, accountability and acceptance, something that’s really a challenge in the rows we sit in on Sunday. Groups help us to activate our faith and give us the encouragement to do so.

Is there a night of the week that you could carve out two hours for the next six weeks? I really think you’d enjoy the community that comes from being a part of a dinner group.  Find your group here.

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