Being in community can be hard. People are messy. However, God calls us into community with Himself but also with one another. He knows we need to be in community for multiple reasons that are all good for us.
At Citylight, we invite others into community through City Groups and then into deeper community with Huddles. A City Group is a mid-sized community that is being transformed by the Gospel, growing as a spiritual family, and serving a specific neighborhood or network of Omaha. A Huddle is a gender-specific closed group of 3 to 5 believers (including the leader) who meet together weekly for the purpose of focused spiritual transformation.
Rooted is one City Group that multiplied from another City Group a few years ago with five core leaders. While launching into another City Group, the Rooted leaders were given the opportunity to take inventory to see what was working and how they could continue to improve and grow. Their discussion quickly went to incorporating huddles into their City Group culture.
“We knew we wanted Huddles to be an intentional part of our City Group,” shared Kyle, one of the leaders in Rooted. “Our group noticed flaws or saw an opportunity to be better. To be more fruitful in our City Group family but also in each of our own individual lives.”
“We wanted to challenge one another and to hold one another accountable.”
So early on in their new City Group, the girls started a huddle and the guys started a huddle. The guys began meeting every other week on Thursdays. The same guys. The same time. But what would they do during their meeting time?
One of the guys suggested a podcast that focuses on leadership.
“I thought if we are interested in trying to be better, to dig in deep and discuss what God may be calling us into,” shared Dylan, the second of three in the guys’ huddle, “why not this podcast that talks and points us to these things?”
“We wanted accountability, to improve and grow, and to be true to the Lord. And also to become leaders in the Lord.”
The three guys agreed. They determined each week one person would listen to the podcast before meeting together and then lead the discussion. The whole huddle then would discuss and communicate together the content.
From that rhythm, an atmosphere of leadership began.
“The podcast focuses on work, leading in a work context,” shared Kyle. “But we also found ourselves asking ‘what do we value?’ We determined from listening and discussing the podcast that whatever you value you will find time for.”
“We then asked each other ‘What do we value and how does it fit in our lives as men?’”
Huddle discussion flowed from that and grew into talking about individual values.
“How do we lead those values in our marriages and relationships?” Kyle said. “We would ask one another if we were making that an intentional part of our life. If not, how could we pray and ask God for change and then what changes could be made?”
Bryan, the third in their huddle, eagerly jumped in and said,
“We uphold the values we are learning. We encourage one another to profess that as Christians. We question each other on what is the best course of action and how to proceed in a loving spirit.”
“If we question anything in one another we address it and ask ‘How do we love them?’ and we check on each other.”
Dylan frankly revealed, “It’s Important that we have honesty and vulnerability and commitment in our huddle. For me it’s being able to be confident in the fact that these men would be willing to take time out of their day for me and for one another. That is so hard to come by!”
After taking stock of where God has brought them, the guys were asked where they go from here.
“We all have small changes and challenges in life coming up,” Bryan quickly shared. “And seeing those I want to make sure I am prepared.”
Kyle agreed and said “To continue being open and honest with one another and to share what’s on my heart. I want to grow confessing sin. Being in our huddle, it has become an opportunity to get something off my chest but to also speak into others.”
“We never want to share what we suck at or struggle with, but it’s so necessary.”
On recommending huddles for other men, Bryan encourages others to stick it out for a while before quitting.
“It’s a longer process and change doesn’t happen super fast,” Bryan intently shared. “Deep soul change doesn’t happen overnight. You are not going to find exactly what you find the first time or be the person you want to be in finding community.”
Bryan continues with, “Be patient. Look at the long term. God changes us every time especially in consistent relationships."
“God created us for community and it’s easy to lose yourself without it,” Kyle admitted. “I really struggled longing to be with others and to learn from others. A lot of wisdom comes through other people God brings to our life and our City Group is a great part of that.”
“I encourage City Groups to dig deeper and in this a huddle has extreme value. You will not share everything in City Groups. Huddles opens the door to be more open and establish relationships that truly care about you.”
Kyle suggested other huddles to be intentional and not to take meeting lightly. He warned that ‘it’s easy to just show up and go through the motions.’
“Be active and intentional in it by going through scripture and sharing your highs and lows. If you don’t, you can be left empty. Believe me, sharing is a gift,” revealed Kyle.
Dylan quickly added “On top of that, go in and try it! Be a part of it.”
“Just come ask me. I’ll let you know,” Dylan shared with a smile.
“I agree,” Kyle concluded. “Come try ours!”
Afterward Dylan shared his gratitude to Citylight City Groups and what it has provided him.
“Citylight has focused on community and through this, it has provided me not just a group of people, but a true accountable and brotherly community focused around love and strength.”
Huddles are an extension of your City Group where you will experience greater depths of discipleship. These smaller gender-specific groups foster environments of trust and accountability. Learn more about Huddles at citylightomaha.org/huddles.