This is a great article from the Zone Gathering about small groups. The excerpt below really nails my thinking, much better than i've ever been able to say it. My catch phrase is "sharing life", this puts meat on those bones:
Or should we?
Over the years in the American church landscape, there has been a movement toward building church community outside of the traditional Sunday morning service. To accomplish this, congregations have tried to install more meetings, events or groups that gather throughout the week. Out of this desire came the small group or cell group model. Unfortunately for many, this merely meant that “church” was now on Sunday and on Wednesday, therefore proving that the problematic thinking that “church” is either a place or a time, was never really solved.So...what do you think? How can we move our groups toward being more about sharing life and growing together, and being less about "number of meetings"?
To really grow in the renewing of our minds on this issue, we should stop thinking of church community in terms of ‘number of meetings per week’ and begin understanding it as a fundamental necessity of life. The equation of: become Christian, join church, join small group, grow, evangelize… cannot remain linear. When we think of these things in a linear, cut and dry way, we become ineffective in creating the proper understanding of Christ’s model.
Or should we?