Few churches today exist without a plethora of outreaches, service projects, and missions trips— opportunities for you to "get your hands dirty," and "give back." With a desire to help believers grow in their faith and to connect with other like-minded individuals, teams are added to the staff to facilitate "small group" ministries.
It has become the role of the church staff to make sure that we have a good circle of friends. People are coming into church desiring connection — wanting to feel included and part of something bigger than themselves. The expectation is that the church will create it and people won't have to put any skin in the game of relationship-building.
The technology-driven culture has only contributed to this problem, as we are no longer sure how build community outside of a ministry that is specifically designed to do it. We settle for canned questions and DVD-teachings that are perfectly outlined to be completed in a tidy 2-hour session on Wednesday evenings each month.
Church members have become used to leaning on the pastoral staff to help them build friendships. But when those services aren’t available, or when it’s been six months without flourishing friendships, many tend to abandon ship and go back to church shopping— eager to find a place that will more adequately “meet their needs.” But what happens when we find ourselves at a church where there is an absence of a small group ministry? What happens when we find ourselves sitting across from the pastor as we describe our desire for thriving relationships only to hear the response, "That's great, how do you plan on building that?"
How do we establish community when the church hasn't done the work of placing us in small group?
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