Tag: Small Groups (home)

In the typical American Christian small group we love to use the word accountability. But if we are precise in our definitions, we really don't have accountability; we only have disclosure. A group member is often willing to disclose personal struggles and decisions, but there is usually no invitation to challenge the choices or to hold the person accountable to an objective standard.

permalink source: Randy Frazee, The Connecting Church page 57
tags: Accountability, Small Groups

Many church leaders still believe that the most effective grouping of people is centered around the sharing of a common life-stage experience. While it may be the fastest way to grow a group numerically, it is not going to produce the best qualitative results in the lives of individuals. Taking a group of young married couples who have small children, and putting these couples together in a room and expecting them to help each other navigate through these critical and sometimes expasperating years is a bit like asking a group of ten toddlers to brainstorm ways to cross a four-lane highway together.

permalink source: Randy Frazee, The Connecting Church p 194
tags: Organization, Small Groups

In the movement associated with John Wesley, people met together in little communities to help hold each other accountable for their deepest values and most important decisions. Wesley had a beautiful phrase for this: he called it watching over one another in love. Before someone entered into this community, they would be asked a series of questions to see if they were serious about living in mutual accountability. Sometimes when I speak on community I'll read these to church leaders, and ask them to imagine these questions being posed to attenders at their churches: · Does any sin, inward or outward, have dominion over you? · Do you desire to be told of your faults? · Do you desire to be told of all your faults—and that plain and clear? (By this point, church leaders are inevitably laughing at even the idea of people putting up with such pointed questions.) · Consider! Do you desire that we should tell you whatsoever we think, whatsoever we fear, whatsoever we hear concerning you? · Do you desire that in doing this we should come as close as possible, that we should cut to the quick, and search your heart to the bottom? · Is it your desire and design to be on this and all other occasions entirely open, so as to speak everything that is in your heart, without exception, without disguise, and without reserve?

permalink source: John Ortberg, Everybody's Normal Til You Get To Know Them
tags: Community, Trust, Accountability, Small Groups

No. 6: Emphasis on Small Groups Our studies show that a new member who gets involved in a Sunday school class is five times more likely to be an active church member five years later than one who attends worship services only. Our research on other small groups is limited, but we suspect that some of the same issues are present. Evangelistic churches are disciple-making churches. They believe that the evangelistic process is not complete until a believer becomes a fruit-bearing disciple in the local church. And leaders in these churches seek to conserve their evangelistic gains by seeking to incorporate the new believers into a small group, most typically the Sunday school.

permalink source: Thom Rainer - http://www.churchcentral.com/nw/s/template/Article.html/id/16178
tags: Evangelism, Assimilation, Small Groups