I've been thinking more about small groups since my last post on the suburban frenzy. It occurs to me that meeting with a bunch of people from the church you attend on a weeknight is just crazy. Some of you may think that I'm going to advocate meeting on Sunday nights as many are in the habit of doing but I am not. A Sunday night small group is a good idea if you want to hang out with people from church. And that is my whole point in this post.
Who do we want to hang out with? Church people or those who do not believe as we do? Your choice will dictate your actions. The small group from the church we currently attend is designed for the believer. So, we meet in the evenings when we can come together at X's home. I don't expect this to be a very evangelistic group as it is focused on church people and Bible study.
What kind of relational groupings (Rg's) work for people we hang out with who do not know Christ? That is the question we have to ask if we are to create missional relational groupings within our life. Think about it. We are trying to develop relationships with people not do “bible studies.” So what type of grouping can we have?
~ Invite people over to your house for a movie night.
~ Go have ice-cream or coffee after practice or games with other parents who have children on your child's sports team.
~ Join a book review club.
~ Attend “Meet-ups” on issues you care about.
~ Join a softball, football or baseball team in your community.
~ Organize week-end hikes for beginners interested in camping.
~ Think about it, the possibilities are endless!
My point is this. Think of what you like to do and invite others to join you. It is a relational grouping that you either initiate or become a part of. They can be formalized or informal. You can meet bi-monthly, weekly, monthly or whatever. That is unimportant. The important thing is to make relationships with people outside of your standard social network. Include people in your world and you will expose them to the Gospel as you live it out.
Incorporating people in our lives in not easy as it opens us up to the risk of pain, hurt and betrayal. Without this risk we can not experience the joy, fellowship, community and love of others. Risk is the price of admission. I guess that is why so many of us in suburbia are so isolated and lonely. We don't have anyone we can trust. We have no one to share our lives with and pour ourselves into except our immediate family.
I think we definitely need groups targeted at church people but they should be the exception and not the norm. Our lives are governed by small social groupings that we transition between on a daily basis. Let's pull people into the circles of life that we all inhabit. Will this solve the suburban frenzy? I don't think so, but it will make it more bearable for those we include in our lives.