Saturday, December 03, 2005

small groups and community

Who started this theory of "building community through small group" thing anyway? I would like to find them and wring their neck ... Why do we promote small groups as the most significant way to build community and congregation? Why have they become the fad of our time? Why do we lead our congregants to believe that small groups deliver the community they seek?
Joseph Meyers
The Search to Belong

In a sense Meyers is right - small groups are not the only way to build community, maybe not the most significant way.
But in another sense Meyers is wrong - without some form of "small group" connection, do we really have community? Community means a sense of belonging, of connection. Community can be bad - many small towns have a sense of community - with it's mixture of belonging and yet often it takes years to belong if you move in the town. And this is often a description of the church - we'll welcome you, but don't think you'll belong for a long time.

Are "small groups" the only way to build community - no.
Can you build community without "small groups" - I don't think so.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Just curious, what does Meyers suggest in place of small groups to help make connections?

Personally I think small groups are very effective and connecting creating community, belonging etc. Not to say there can't be other effective ways, I just personally haven't seen them - I wonder what Meyers has...