Pushing the Comfort Zones of Small Groups

Why today's small groups need to move beyond a traditional Bible study

As part of my work with www.BuildingSmallGroups.com, I recently had the privilege of interviewing Alan Hirsch on the subject of his book The Forgotten Ways.

If you're not familiar with that book, it's basically a call for the church - both universal and individual - to return to the missional/movement ethos that drove its rapid growth and impact during the Early Church, and that is currently doing the same through the house-church movement in China.

In the book, Hirsch writes about six principles of missional movements that he identified throughout the course of his research. One of them really piqued my interest: embracing the idea of communitas instead of what we traditionally call community. If you're not familiar with the term, communitas are basically a type of community that develops out of a shared ordeal or challenge - they're what turn friends into comrades. Think of a house church that meets in secret to avoid persecution, for example.

I was curious how that principle could possibly ...

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