A decennial debate is once again upon those who grapple with the ways church does its churching.
Which is the better format for church community? Sunday School or Small Group? It’s all laid out here in a recent three-view series.
I find it’s not so much about the model but the methods used within the model. Triumphs and disasters have happened in every format…usually caused by a breakdown in how they were conducted.
One thing I learned as a pastor a long long time ago in a galaxy far away – was that we as church-goers tend to 1) be fickle in our preferences and thus glorify the good old days, 2) get very comfortable with our communities and thus resist change, and 3) become bored with scripture because we handle it only in didactic terms vs. as a lifelong conversation with its Author.
That can be a deadly trifecta for a living stone.
And it almost dictates that every half-generation or so the church becomes restless with whatever community model it practices.
It happens like clockwork. And it’s all but designed that way.
Eventually, we discover that the form doesn’t matter so much as the function. What matters is that the relationships – upward, inward, and outward – are tended and cared for as much as any building in which it meets.
As one old church sage put it…there ain’t nothin’ new under the sun.*
Not the Small Group. Not the Sunday School. Not even the debates about which one is the greatest.
* Ecclesiastes 1:9 (very loosely paraphrased)