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The End of Small Groups


“Why is it that pastors are so passionate about small groups yet are rarely in one themselves?”

It’s a fair question.

A spiritual leader I know once referenced small groups as the ‘speed dating’ of friendship. A place where people get together, talk about their daddy wounds with folks they’ve never met. Small groups usually start out great, but then they begin to lose their energy after a month or two and the group divides into two camps: one group of people who are the committed types would go to a root canal every week if they had promised to. The other group are those who happen to find something else to do, are sick, had a root canal to go to instead of going to the boring small group. Those who left feel guilty. Those who stay judge those who left.

It’s beautiful, really.

That’s why I’m calling an end to small groups and crying out for a shift towards friendship. Healthy people don’t need small groups– they need to bring people into their social network. People don’t need groups, they need friends. Somehow the whole world has survived without the strange concoction of the ‘small group’ that churches readily and sincerely embraced in the 90s.

I almost never talk about small groups at Mosaic. I almost always talk about getting around some good people that can bring out the best in you– people you can partner with and do something meaningful with your lives.

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In other words: get some friends and get a life.

I wonder if we put the Prius in front of the lithium battery on this one and just try to get everyone into our pre-programmed infrastructure, rather than creating a value for healthy friendship– something that is difficult [impossible?] to achieve without the active presence of God among us.

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