Saturday, November 22, 2008


So, we are a people, particularly in Western Society who love systems. Specifically in the church, we identify how God has worked, systematize it and call it such things as orthodoxy or orthopraxy (the normal way to do it).

For instance. In the 50's (I'm guessing) a movement started where people stayed after church to study the Bible. It was called Sunday School and some great things developed and occurred in that setting. God's Spirit breathed life into people and transformation/discipleship took place.

In the last 10-20 years, the move has been away from Sunday School in most churches and more to Life Groups or Adult Bible Fellowships. The idea being that God was breathing life into home groups or small groups that lived life together. Some great things have happened and continue to happen here, but what is the mindset of the Church? We want to systematize what a small group is, how it runs, how the leaders are trained, what criteria they are to meet, etc. We want to systematize it. I'm not saying that this is a bad thing. Don't hear that. In fact, equipping the people of God to lead authentic, transformative small groups (Greek: oikos) is a great idea.

I may be hesitant in saying that this is the only way that God is showing up. I hate when something creative, organic (living) and redemptive springs up and we the Church attempt to systematize it. As if we can somehow put the Holy Spirit into an equation. Someone recently said something startling...if the Holy Spirit was removed from your church, would your church look any different than it does now?

God certainly can move in, through, and in spite of our systems, programs and equations, but wouldn't it be a good idea to stop looking at what the church that is having all sorts of success doing x, y and z and instead begin looking for d, e, and f that God is calling and gifting your church to in the first place?

If God were to affirm one thing in your church, what would it be?
If small group ministry is the "New Sunday School", what might be the "New Small Group Ministry"?

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