The Danger of Small Group Systems

We need to be careful in how we view, speak, and teach on small groups

“There’s a real danger in elevating a small group system over biblical values of community and fellowship. I’ve heard of churches requiring commitment to their version of small groups for church membership—talk about adding to grace, amiright?”

 

Home Groups, DNAs, Missional Communities, Community Groups, Life Groups—whatever your church calls them, let’s not put too much weight on them. They may break. Bear with me.

I’m not saying small groups are unimportant. I’m saying we need to be careful in how we view, speak, and teach on small groups. You’ll hear people speak of their small group systems as the nitrous booster that sped up the health and growth of their church. “What’s y’all’s small group structure? You doing missional communities?” These aren’t the kinds of question we should be asking. But as churches become over-industrialized, we tend to think more in structures and systems than we do in values and verses from the Bible.

It’s not like Paul forgot to include weekly participation in a small group in his letters. But Paul included the call to community, fellowship, and love for the glory of God (Col. 3:12–17).

Beyond Small Groups

I hope you’re sitting down for what’s coming next. You probably are, so:

You can have a vibrant Christianity without a Home Group.

This doesn’t mean you can opt out of your group. It’s meant to put things in their proper orbit.

Do you think Charles Spurgeon had a vibrant and flourishing walk with Jesus? Yes, of course. And yet, somehow Spurgeon could live a Christ-exalting life without a Missional Community. He had community. He had fellowship. This is what we are after. It may happen in a group structure but for others, it may not and we’ve got to be okay with that. We’ve crashed the system if we value the system more than the value for which the system exists. (Read that again if you must.)

There’s a real danger in elevating a small group system over biblical values of community and fellowship. I’ve heard of churches requiring commitment to their version of small groups for church membership—talk about adding to grace, amiright?

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