Thursday, January 06, 2011

It Can All Be So Exhausting

I'm reading a book for class called Missional Small Groups. Honestly, it's not bad, at least not awful. I find myself getting exhausted by it. Here's an example. In the fifth chapter the author begins to describe how to be a missional group. He says there are "three rhythms" each group should begin with (if you read the first four chapters, you'd get the whole "rhythm" thing). Ok, three things - not too bad. Turn the page: "Before diving into the specific rhythms and practices, there are five things to know that will help you start the music." Ok, eyes drooping.

Scanning down to the bottom of the page and point number two (of the five): "There are twenty-one different practices that I discuss in the following chapters - seven for each of the three rhythms." Granted, he does say we should just pick three, one for each of the three rhythms, but reading and deciding which practices to adopt takes energy.

Next page: "Appendix A proves a thirteen-step process for determining how a group can get started with these three practices."

You have to be kidding me. Have we overcomplicated something that should be pretty easy? How about this: I'll meet with people in my home, or better yet, in theirs so we don't have to clean. We'll enjoy each other, share life together, learn and pray together, laugh together, maybe cry (not as often as laugh I hope). I'll watch their kids sometimes, they'll watch mine sometimes. We'll encourage one another, ask tough questions of each other...etc. We'll support each other through hard times, and we'll make fun of one another (cause that's what friends do). Either way, it'll make my week better.

Oh, and I'll be realistic. I'll not expect my small group to change my life in dramatic ways - just make it better each Wednesday night - or at least every other. I'll not expect it to transform the world - not even my town. Does it sound like I'm undervaluing my small group. I hope you don't hear that. I love it! But, I think I love and enjoy it so much because I understand what it is. If I expected it to be this great force of change that would sweep through the westside, I'd miss out on the joy of just being in good fellowship with other believers.

Not very missional? How about we pop out some kids, raise them in the church (so they can pop out some kids and raise them in the church too)! If we have three kids and they have three kids, then we've added 12 people to the church! Boys and girls, we're going to learn a new word today - cynical. Sorry.

1 comment:

Beth said...

This is one of the best things I've read in the last year. I'm starting a small group where I live and I want to copy and paste this as our mission statement. Except that I really think it's unnecessary for a small group to have a mission statement.

FTW, Dan, FTW.