Monday, October 27, 2003

Pastor Rich Vincent has a nice summary of Joseph Myers' book The Search to Belong over at his blog.

Basically, Myers (and Vincent agrees), deliver the news that small groups aren't necessarily all they're cracked up to be. For genuine belonging to occur, Myers argues, we must have a sense of belonging in four spaces: public, social, personal, and private. His distinctions between these four are helpful. He points out that small groups are often presented/marketed as the end all and the place where belonging happens. But in most cases, small groups can't carry the burden that's placed on them by those who are trying to "sell" them. They only offer social or personal belonging and without public or intimate belonging, we still won't feel like we belong. There's a chart towards the end of the summary that illustrates what each of the four spaces looks like and what each space can, in the best of circumstances, be expected to achieve.

I'm glad to hear someone finally put small groups in their place. I'm not opposed to them, in general, just opposed to the nearly messianic hopes that are often tied to them.

See also the Jay Vorhees' Amazon Customer Review Rethinking Small Groups. You'll have to scroll down the page a good bit. His is the next to last review.

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