Today’s featured blog is Candid Christianity by Antwan Malone. Candid Christianity sports the pretty nifty tag line: Candid. Christian. Converstaion. (Re)thinking Christianity One Conversation at a Time. This is a blog after my own heart. Let’s not just accept the status quo of Christian culture, let’s challenge it. And more importantly than merely challenging it, let’s challenge it in a manner that talks about the issues openly and honestly. We may not always agree. We may not reach an official answer. But the debate is never boring. Antwan tackles issues such as homosexuality, religion and politics, and pop culture.
A recent post that caught my eye is Does Small Group Work? The last 3 churches I’ve been involved with have put a heavy emphasis on small group. I am not exactly a “people person” and I have a difficult time warming up to people and sharing my life. To put it mildly: small group is a painful experience for me. I’ve been in one small group that worked very well. I’ve participated in several small groups that I couldn’t wait until the series or workbook was done so I could make an excuse to leave. Right now I’m in a struggling group. It’s a collection of ladies who personally click very well together. The challenge is we are all in the crazy 30’s/40’s period of life where kids and career dominate our every waking moment and getting together is difficult at best. Hopefully we’ll get it figured out.
A few thoughts on small groups from Antwan….
I wonder if small group (or LifeGroups, or whatever) is designed to promote spiritual growth through studying the Bible or by creating a forum permitting us to publicly struggle with the way God’s Word and our lives intersect. In other words, are small groups just glorified Sunday School classes, or are they more like support groups where we all share our failings and seek guidance and help from each other?
Frankly, even Jesus had a hard time getting his twelve to understand what He was talking about. On countless occasions the disciples reveal how out of step they are with Jesus’ teachings, which is amazing when you consider they lived with Him pretty much 24/7. If those are Jesus’ results, then what do we really think we will accomplish with our 2.5 hours a week?
We currently attempt to create relational intimacy and biblical teaching, which is a worthy, if not lofty, goal. But often, the experience is out of balance. Most people need both in significant measure. Piece-mealing these two ideas in compartmental increments only makes us more thirsty for the real thing. Giving a thirsty man a drop of water will only make him more thirsty!