I am getting ready for a class at Biblical Seminary next with. It will be taught by Joseph Myers author of “Search To Belong: Rethinking Intimacy, Community and Small Groups.” (My dad is actually joining me for this class, he’s a pastor at North Suburban Ev. Free Church in Deerfield, IL – he’s auditing it!) This was a great book for me and has really influenced a lot in the spaces we are seeking to create at The Well. The class is two full days Feb, a bunch of online stuff and phone calls and then two more days in April.

Biblical has wireless in the classrooms so that means i will be blogging a lot of my notes from our class time and discussion. For now, i am rereading his book,

“I’ve often heard ministers say to their congregations, ‘We’re glad you’re here. But if you really want to know what it is like to be part of our congregation, participate in a small group.’ The implication is that small groups are the best – is not the only – way to build authentic community….small groups do not accomplish the promise of fulfilling all facets of a person’s search for community. Small groups deliver only one or two specific kinds of connection. A person’s search for community is more complex than this….For the record, I am not against small groups. I am acutally very much in favor of them. But i am against small groups being used and marketed as the “end all” solution for answering the individual’s search to belong. Perhaps this was best expressed by the participant in a small group’s roundtable who observed “it is too small to think just small group.

He goes on to say that poeple sense belonging on four different levels:
– Public
– Social
– Personal
– Intimate

Small groups usually only focus on the personal and intimate. In churches, when we focus so much on saying that the personal and intimate are the most important. we minimize the public and social and mistakingly “say” that those who sense belonging this way is illliegimate.

Being a long time small group guy who loves the personal and intimate, this is a challange and poses a lot of questions…i am looking forward to 12 hours a day with a small group of poeple (8-10 students last i heard) and a couple really smart guys…