I’ve got friends in earlier timezones, so I usually wake up to a couple texts. They’re mostly dumb. Wordle scores, funny memes, links to interesting articles, that sort of thing. Like most of us, I’m a member of a lot of different group chats, and a small handful stay pretty active on a day-to-day basis. It’s mostly a way to keep up with family and friends.
But in a select few, I’ve noticed things morphing almost without any of us realizing it. The group text isn’t just a place for chuckles and current events discourse. It’s become a place of real moral and spiritual growth. At a time when “small groups” are weekly (at best) and heart-to-hearts are hard to schedule, the group chat has been a place for real authenticity, refinement and growth. It’s a surprisingly easy place to create an energetic, living bond of trust. It can easily become a new secret weapon in your spiritual walk.
Obviously, a group chat is not a replacement for real, flesh and blood conversation with someone else. But it is constant and consistent place to check in when face-to-face meet-ups aren’t available. In moments of real desperation — a panic attack, some bad news at work, a family emergency or even just a case of the blues — having a group chat of close, reliable friends can be the difference between suffering along and having a community at your finger tips who can be there for you even if they’re not there for you.
But it’s not just about the moments of dire need. Having a solid group chat can just be a good place to sort through some of your spiritual clutter. If you’re struggling with a Bible verse, feeling conflicted about part of your faith or just have something on your heart, taking it to the group chat can go a long ways. It can be very easy to thread your spiritual walk into your relational life in a natural, easy way when you got a group chat to work with.
But be warned: It’s not for the faint of heart. A good group chat breeds vulnerability, and vulnerability means exposing the parts of yourself you don’t like. Part of having a really good group chat is having the knowledge that the people on it might be able to call you out when you’re not being your best self. You might ask for an opinion and not like what you hear. You might get hurt by someone’s feedback. None of that feels good but it is a sign that you’re using this tool to its fullest capabilities.
So if you’ve got some group chats going, start taking them to the next level. Open about how you’re feeling. Tell them what’s really on your mind. Ask for advice. Ask for prayer. See how far having this community at your disposal can go. You might be surprised at the direction and speed your spiritual walk starts going when you get the group chat involved.