What's So Great About Small Groups? - Part III

A Common Unity

There are lots of kinds of small groups.

Interest-based. Location-based. Athletic groups. Women's groups. Men's groups. Groups for teens. Singles groups. Married groups. Groups for retired people. On and on and on. Which is cool, no doubt. We've done them here and they've been good. People have enjoyed connecting with each other, hopefully have connected with the Gospel and some might even have become more connected with the mission of the church.

My fear is that we have placed the highest premium on the sociality of small groups at the expense of the importance of the Gospel and how it propels the missionality of the church. It's an easy snare to stumble into. Especially when you have such fascinating people who have the most amazing stories to tell. You want to be with them. You want to associate.

Under our previous blueprint for small groups, we had eight or ten groups meeting throughout the week all talking about different things. The eight to twelve folks in each group may experience a sense of unity within their group but what do they have in common with the rest of the church? And how well is the mission of the church promoted to those who are looking for a reason connect with us if there are ten different conversations happening about this mission?

Seems confusing.

If I'm trying to figure this place out, I might read whatever I can find on the website. I'll probably ask some folks in my circles about their opinions and then I'll schedule a visit. And when I visit, I'm gonna be interested to hear from those who are connected to the church. And who are the most connected? Always, it's going to be those who do three things. (You've heard me say these things before.)

Connect. Serve. Give.

Now, they don't always happen in this order. But often, they do. Not too many people I know of will give too much of their time or money to a cause they don't fully support. And why would they? It's not wise. The words on our website are not enough to fully convince anybody to partner with this effort. The church relies on people. People who are actively connected to its mission. Which is why we're refocussing our direction with Small Groups at The Grove this Fall.

This semester, every group will be following the sermon topic of the week. All hearing and wrestling with the same ideas. All through the distinct and unique filter of each Collaborative. All contributing valuable words, thoughts and concepts to a global conversation for the benefit of those in the group, as well as for those within our fellowship and for any who are looking for a reason to connect with the mission of The Grove.

The mission of The Grove relies on people who are actively connected to the mission of The Grove.

Reciprocity.

And as Members of this church, we are committed to this and we are committed to connecting more and more people. We are committed to unity and finding the common center between us all. Small Groups often help unify those within that group but don't always do much to unify everyone.

But what if we could?

What would happen if the whole church – all of us; doubters, seekers and followers found a common unity? What if there were a community deeply connected to each other and deeply committed to furthering the mission?

Isn't that the root of community anyway – A Common Unity?

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