Friday, December 10, 2010

What is a small group?

[caption id="attachment_287" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="A typical small group"][/caption]

I find that when I'm talking to different sets of people about small groups, they all have different sets of ideas about what a small group actually is.

I think it's far too easy for me to assume I need to tell somebody what "x" is instead of asking them what "x" is to them first. I know, I'm presumptuous.

So as I've been getting into my new role, asking people "What do you think of when you hear small group?" or, "Can you explain to me what a small group actually is?" have been two of my most frequent questions.

Here's some of the answers. According to people I've asked, small groups are:

  • People who meet in homes

  • People who meet in churches

  • A model of the early church

  • Something we've come up with in the last 50 years to replace Sunday School

  • On the way out

  • Here forever

  • The best part of my week

  • Something I dread

  • Uncomfortable

  • A waste of time

  • Something I'll never try again

  • Something I can't imagine living without

  • Forced & fictitious relationships with people I normally wouldn't be spending my time with, and don't see outside of group time

  • A way I've made some strong & lifelong friendships

  • One more thing on the pile

  • Where I got to know my future spouse (got this a few times!!)

  • Something for people without kids

  • Something for people without a real (or busy) life

  • One of the strongest periods of spiritual growth in my life

The list goes on...and gets more detailed, revealing, & personal obviously. But I'd like to know what you think. What comes to mind when you think of a small group? Can you tell me what a small group actually is? Love to hear your thoughts, thanks!