Friday, February 09, 2007

small groups struggle: embedded or cut loose?

Over at, (one of these days I will take the time to learn how to link without writing out the url) in a post about the UUA Board meeting that became quickly about diversity which became about classism which became about small groups (I love the blogworld :) Peter Bowden mentions how many UU churches are still struggling with SGM 101. I hear a lot of this also from colleagues. I also hear a lot of "success stories." I'm all for this movement, remember that.

I know there are many many reasons why this struggle might be, but my immersion in more organic, etc. church has got me to wondering, just speculating really--are we trying to put square pegs in round holes? If we embed the small group experience within the larger church experience are we somehow domesticating the small group experience, as if making a hobby out of it instead of the life transformation it is intended to do, and/or is the struggle of small groups in larger churches, perhaps especially in mid-size (and we do have to take into account what actually sizes these categories represent), a struggle over wanting life transformation to happen and also not wanting it to happen for what if it happens and wants to multiply and think of the pressures that puts on the dynamics and family system of the larger church body? Is there something organic speaking about the struggle of small group in a larger group? Are we in a transition period where small groups as we have known them are the cocoon in which micro-churches and organic movements might actually emerge, from the ruins to come of the church as we have known it?

By the way head over to And you UU Christian folks particularly might find useful this small group resource connection from the United Church of Canada at