Relationships began to be built and conversations were broadened. Because these strangers were included, they began to feel a sense of belonging and experienced a bit of “the communion of the saints.”
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I’m concerned with developing small groups of people who covenant to a shared life together as they grow in Christlikeness and join God’s mission together. That leaves me with this question. How do we establish counter-cultural groups in a culturally relevant way?
We would love to form a neighborhood small group where everyone on our block knows each other well, joins in spiritual conversations, prays for one another, and finds ways to serve in our community together. It’s a wonderful dream that we talk about often. The problem is, we don’t know our neighbors!
The call of community isn’t about finding people just like us, at the exclusion of others. Community, in the biblical sense, is clearly about unlike people finding Christ at the center of their inclusive life together. Thus, issues of community reflect powerful dynamics of how God brings very diverse people together for his glory and his witness in the world.
... today my small group world and work-out world collided when I saw a sign advertising “Small Group Personal Training.” For a very reasonable price we are offered the opportunity to get the benefits of a personal trainer in a small group setting. The sign promoted other benefits of these small groups:
What did I learn on vacation? If I had quit climbing that mountain, I would have missed an awe-inspiring view of God’s wonderful creation. I don’t want to quit on my spiritual formation, either. There are times when it seems really tough and too difficult to keep-on-keeping-on
I understand their fear. We haven’t had enough time together to know one another all that well. Most are new to this whole small group thing and relatively new in faith. Today I’m asking myself how I can gently lead them to feel comfortable praying out loud as a group. Here’s what I’ve thought of so far:
"People resist mission because they are under-discipled, but they are also under-discipled because of the absence of any missional challenge. " The problem is, we’ve become used to seeing discipleship as a passive thing as we sit and enjoy one another as we “huddle and cuddle” together.
Imagine this. You’ve been in an ongoing spiritual discussion with someone and are asked, “So what is the Gospel?” How would you answer? I had a pretty pat answer in mind until I spent time reflecting on the first four verses of Isaiah 61. This passage points out a bigger understanding of the Gospel than I’m used to thinking