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Archive for April, 2012

Taxes and Groups

Tax preparation labels you. Although they are few, there are times in life when you are instantly labeled, put into one camp or the other. You are either an instruction reader or a “do it by feel” kind of person. You either ask for directions or refuse to admit you are truly lost.  You are either a morning or late night person. Coke or Pepsi. And you either keep a neat log with all your receipts and mileage records or you just throw them all into a drawer (if even that!)

I have heard about people who have a nice, neat, computer print out of all their expenditures and business miles printed in advance. Like … end of January advance. It often makes completing their 1040 as simple as filling in the blanks. In no time, they are done.

Others use more of a “somewhere-in-the-bottom-of-this-shoebox” system. They scramble desperately to get all of the facts and figures down on paper and put in the proper place before the deadline. (And yes, the bottom-of-the-box individual is often the ten minutes until midnight person as well.)

It dawned on me this year (it was a shoebox year, thanks for asking) that we often approach our groups in a similar manner. Sometimes we spend time all throughout the year developing relationships and spending time with group leaders or members. Our mutual encouragement, accountability, and support of one another flow easily as we continue to work through a small group year. When a crisis arises, we have already developed the relationships that enable us to smoothly sail the rough waters.

Other times, we desperately try to pull together relationships we have spent far too little time cultivating during the year, all the while knowing the small group year is drawing to a close and wondering what sort of harvest our groups will produce. When the challenges raise their ugly head, we have to scramble in hopes that we somehow make it through the difficult stretches.

Which category do you fall in?

Are you doing the little things every day that make the big moments of your group life seem as simple as just filling in the blanks?

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