Conversation one evening earlier this week considered the nature of home groups or cell groups in the church. There’s a huge difference between a church (the org) that slots its members into small groups so that they can relate and reach out and a missional community. G12 versus Emergent.
Take G12 and add a healthy dose of Rick Warren, imbibe it long enough, and you’ll walk around feeling you need to be a soul-winning machine to fulfil your only excuse to exist. Albeit important to let your neighbours in on the secret to gaining Heaven, it’s not quite what I always thought was man’s purpose in life. (And I can identify with the person who told me this week that they walked into a Christian bookstore a few days earlier and was bombarded with Purpose Driven Christmas Cards at one end of a long line of Purpose Driven Merchandise, and they just felt like overturning the tables… though it’s probably hard to do while gagging.)
In conversation this week, it was put forward that in the church model that structures the organization in small groups, this foms the basis of how the individual relates to the church (organization). Problem there, if concern about the individual’s relationship to the structure becomes too highly-prioritized. Shouldn’t the individual’s relationship to God, to their fellow believers, and the world around them be matters of more importance? Concern for interpersonal relationships causes bretheren to dwell in unity. Concern for relationship to the church organization is more about dwelling in unanimity. Just think about that difference for a while.
What you end up with then is goal-oriented, task-driven, and programmed. Leadership becomes more about managing people than serving them, more about lining them up than relating to them. I don’t want to get with that program.