Lately, I have been trying to cut down my stack of books. Code for more reading, less TV and general internet surfing. One of the books that I have been reading with great interest is A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small-Group Dynamic by Rick Howerton. I have long been a fan of Rick’s writing, so I have been thinking deeply about the concept of CMC. CMC, or Christian Micro Community, is a new kind of tribe for a new day and time.
In the chapter on healthy community Rick states, “if we want to create a transformation tribal community, we must lead our small groups into four necessities. These four necessities will create a unity of mind and spirit that will move a group from simply being a bunch of friends getting together for Bible study to being a family swimming in the warm pool of transformational oneness.” (Kindle location 595)
Wow, who would not want to be part of a life changing Christian Micro Community, united in mind and spirit. As believers we are all about that warm and fuzzy close fellowship with our small group. Where lives are changed and the gospel is born new in the lives of those that are lost. Yet, that does not seem to be the case. Why is it so hard to accomplish? Why do so few people accept Christ? Maybe the paradigm is shifting. What used to work well, is no longer the most effective methodology or healthy practice.
What if we really got serious about healthy Christian Micro Communities in Round Rock? What would that look like? Maybe the group would have a common language. Words and phrases with significance to the members of the group. Maybe the group would have a set of common memories. Important snapshots from a ministry project, the group sitting together at a funeral of a members family. Maybe the group would have common traditions and practices. Maybe they always gather for prayer before the kids leave for camp, the students go on mission trips or that family lake trip. Maybe the group shares a common vision of community. There are some expectations for people who join the community and an understanding of the environment of respect when the group meets.
An interesting list. A challenging list. As leaders do we seek to lead by virtue of position or through the strength of relational inference and modeling? As a leader, is the completion of the lesson outline or the community more important? As a leader, have I placed a box (denominational, local church, cultural Christian or personal history) around my community, including a few, excluding many?
As we get ready for the new Sunday School/Biblical Community year at FBCRR, I have to ask myself some hard questions. You might consider these questions too. Am I protecting the brand or seeking Kingdom growth in my life and those I influence? Am I interested in fellowship or life transformation? Am I seeking to help a small group know about God or to experience God? What if my care group was at CMC?
Some food for thought as we seek to grow, minister and serve together.