New Blog Post: “Worship as the Family Gathering”

For some time I’ve promoted small group ministry as a primary means of discipleship. And I think this is helpful. But what I’ve been reminded through Kennon L. Callahan’s, Small, Strong Congregations (Jossey-Bass, 2000) is that the weekly worship service is a primary sort of small group.  As he writes: “For a small, strong congregation, worship is the gathering of the family. It’s not that worship is a function, and that small groups are another function. Small, strong congregations don’t think in a program, function, and activity manner. They don’t view worship and groups as separate functions and departments. Worship is the gathering of the household, the family, of God.” (p. 157)  I like Callahan’s perspective.  True, sometimes we need a “program” to gather people.  But more often than not in a small, strong congregation, the people gather themselves.  And the primary gathering is the worship service.  Now, that’s not to say that small groups aren’t important.  They are.  And that’s not to say that small groups just happen.  They don’t.  They take intentionality.  But they’re more likely to happen if we gather in the sanctuary on a regular basis.  So, the worship service as the primary family gathering is, you might say, the primary small group.  So, I would encourage you all to attend your main small group!  Attend the worship service!  And through it, feel God’s blessing and love, be discipled, and develop meaningful relationships with your brothers and sisters in Christ.

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