Small Groups on Facebook

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There is a group of us on Facebook who have decided to form a small group. Since we are scattered around the country, and most of us don't know each other real well, this might be a challenge. But, we want to try. We do want to choose something to study and discuss. We want to encourage each other and pray for each other. Has anyone else done this? If so, do you have some suggestions which will help us as we begin our group? Thank you!

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I was a part of a women's small group that met in the suburbs of Chicago.  We typically met twice monthly, on Friday evenings.  As members of the group experienced location changes or health issues that prevented traveling across the city/suburbs to join us, we became a virtual small group.  We meet at the same regularity, but use Google Hangouts to videochat with one another.  We share about our lives, study and pray together.  We've even had new women join us who have only met the rest of the group through the digital world!  It is a true blessing to use technology to the glory of God!  We now span Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Tennessee!

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I see incredible value in having virtual small groups specifically for men and specifically for women -- separate -- where they become accountability groups. The weakness of 'regular' small groups is that they tend to become either social gatherings or lead to superficial discussions on a book.

Our face-to-face small group meets weekly, discussing the past Sunday's sermon topic for the first hour and then splitting up into separate groups for men and women for the second hour. This is where accountability and spiritual formation truly takes place; talking about our personal struggles, our relationships (spouses, parents, children), our temptations and sins.  That discussion continues throughout the week in a Facebook group where we hold each other accountable.

It would be incredible to form a Facebook group that functions as an accountability group. Since you don't know each other, I can imagine spending the first several meetings just getting to know each other; getting deeper and deeper into personal issues and struggles.  There is something 'comfortable' about not knowing each other in this virtual setting. But it requires participants who dare to become vulnerable and who dare to hold each other accountable.  THAT is what the church and what faith is all about.

Needless to say, this kind of accountability and vulnerability can't work if it's a mixed group of men and women. The issues are simply too different.

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