Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The ‘R’ in Group’s R.E.A.L Philosophy

Group Publishing has a philosophy when it comes to small group ministry philosophy. That’s a good thing! Group incorporates this philosophy into the creation and formation of their small group resources, studies, and materials. The question is; does the R.E.A.L. philosophy make practical sense in the real world of small group life?

For the next four blog posts, I’m going to be digging into the different elements—and subsequent ideas—that make up the R.E.A.L. approach. I’ll share a few of my thoughts and opinions about each one. And I invite you to do the same. Post a response. Join the conversation!

The foundation for Group’s approach is this: Learning that’s R.E.A.L. is…

In this first of four blog posts, let’s examine the ‘R’ that is Relational.
While it may seem rather basic when considering small group ministry, being intentional about the relational aspect of small group life is a critical starting point. If people aren’t interested in deepening their relationship with God and with others, a small group is not the place for them. Many people like the idea of a small group and being connected relationally, but the reality is a bit too much to handle.

That’s why Group’s emphasis on the Relational element to small group community is spot on. You’ve got to have it to have authentic biblical community.

Yet there’s more to the Relational element. In Group’s helpful small group resource, R.E.A.L.: Surprisingly Simple Ways to Engage Adults, author Carl Simmons writes, “people learn better and retain more when they talk than they do when being talked to.”

I love that! Spiritual growth and transformation happen because people are learning—together. When we allow those who know us best to be involved in our spiritual journey powerful things happen. When we invite others into dialogue and truly engage with each other all group participants can wrestle with Truth together. As we discuss and dialogue in community, our beliefs are strengthened by the work of the Holy Spirit in our own heart—and through the confirmation and encouragement of others.

Why do you value the ‘R’ that is Relational as a primary element in small group community? Join the conversation!

Oh, and one more thing; the most intriguing response will receive a copy of R.E.A.L.: Surprisingly Simple Ways to Engage Adults.

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