If you’ve been to The Gathering before, you’ll know that a core part of the days is the time we spend around the tables. In these groups of around eight people we discuss what we’ve been hearing and apply it to our lives. Importantly, we are also encouraged to reflect honestly on how we’re doing with the different aspects and share it with one another.

Why do we do this? First, it helps us to actively engage with what God wants to teach us - sometimes it’s not until we articulate something to others that we really understand it. Second, it opens the door to freedom - when we share our struggles with others it brings them into the light, and we find that the power they had over us in the darkness is lessened in the light of the truth. Not only that, but it gives us the opportunity to receive prayer to break any strongholds or combat any lies we have believed.

If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.
— 1 John 1:7

Third, it offers the opportunity for accountability - it is easy to resolve to do something one day then forget it by the time you get home. Sharing it with others means there’s a chance they may ask you about it again, which gives an extra incentive to act! And finally, it brings us deeper into fellowship with one another, moving us step by step from being strangers to being family.

Yet for all the benefits, it can still take huge courage to open up like this.

What kind of sharer are you?

For some of us, it isn’t an issue - we’re happy to ‘let it all hang out’, to be completely transparent about any and every area of life. Your classic over-sharers.

For others, it can be very uncomfortable opening up with even the closest friends - while for others opening up to those we barely know can be easier than to those we’re close to.

Which are you? What feels most comfortable to you when sharing?

If you’re coming to the next Gathering, be aware in advance that you will be asked to choose a table and to share with the people around it. So start planning now - who will you sit with? Do you want to find a table with people you barely know or find a friend to stick close to?

And think about it even if you’re not coming to The Gathering this time - who are you sharing your life with? Who can you talk to on a deeper level about the things God is bringing to the surface in you life? Let’s all be preparing for sharing with one another.

Not booked in yet? There’s still time, but you need to be quick: booking closes at midnight tomorrow (Weds 8th May):