Continuing some foundational reasons to participate in small groups, Gareth Icenogle writes,
“The ecclesia are small groups of Christians who are scattered around the world, bound together by a common Spirit. Meeting in all arenas of human systems and organizations, these ecclesia are networked together in multiple groupings of various numbers and configurations. These small group networks form institutional bonds. The network systems and institutional bonds are structures of flexibility to enable and enact the service of the Spirit. When the system or institutional bond becomes more important than life in the Spirit, and when the group becomes too inflexible to move with the wind of the Spirit, the group organization stands in the judgment of the Spirit as idol in need of reformation. Persons who sustain and support inflexible small group formats and systems are in need of personal renewal and of returning to their first love who is Jesus in relationship with Abba God. The Spirit reforms human systems and organizations. The small group is the microcosm of human community and organization. The Christian small group is the microcosm and agent of God’s continuing transformation and reformation of human community, organization, institution and system.”
This paragraph is maybe a bit more complex than the average small group attendee may be used to. What he is essentially saying is that the small group is a place of the Holy Spirit and a great context in which to be transformed and to work towards transforming others as well as to be about society’s reform. But this all happens because of the work of the Holy Spirit, so without his presence, those things will not happen in the way that Christians are seeking after.
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.