At Calvary, we talk about growing small groups that are "formative, caring, and missional." Our desire is that every person in every group is being formed into the image of Christ, that they are being cared for and using their gifts to care for others, and that they are partnering with others to accomplish the mission of Jesus in the world.
What makes a small group into a "formative" experience? This is certainly not an exhaustive list. But here are a few elements that when present will aid in a group's formative journey.
- dedication to finding the best representation of truth possible
- communal sensitivity to the moving of the Spirit
- humility to avoid authoritative posturing and proclamations
- acceptance of Scriptural authority...being mindful of appropriate interpretation
- openness to new ideas and new paradigms
- desire to be corrected and re-formed
- ability to live with tension (mentally, socially, spiritually, etc.)
I believe that as group members bring these character traits and goals into group gatherings, they will find that their experience of being formed to the image of Christ is much more intense.