Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Spineless Small-groups, Sycophants and Shallow Saved Sinners
So, the other day, Twitter showed me this article written by Brian Jones over at the Christian Standard about Small groups and why they (essentially) don't work. The argument is that 90% of all church small groups only ever produce is self confident believers but not missional disciples. The artilce stresses the weakpoints of what I will call "Organized Community" that is, small groups that are organized and you sign up for. these have become pretty standard in evangelical churches. I have personally been a part of about four of these types of groups; two of those, I have led. The one thread that I have realised is that the article is right. Small groups, in an overwhelming majority of cases do nothing or next to nothing to make disciples. Which is a shame, because the heart of Christianity is community and loving others, but that can't be manufactured, it has to be real. The best growth I've seen in my own life has been accidental. 2am conversations in Bible College, impromptu prayer meetings, and the breakfast club that a few close friends and I started a few months ago. Those breakfast meetings are real, we share eachother's burdens, pray for each other, share our successes and failures and fears.
I'd love to expand on this, but there's nothing I can add to what Jones says. He nailed it.
I have been taught not to complain about something unless you have a solution to offer as well, so here is mine, let's place less emphasis on small groups the way they are, namley a leader, in a chair, with a curriculum. let us instead preach and teach the value of intentional community and individual growth and discipleship. Followers of Christ need to take responsibility of their own part in the process of sanctification, not to minimize the work of the Spirit, but if we are not open to Him, His words will fall on deaf ears.
With love for Christ and His church