In the church, we have all kinds of ways to connect with others:
- Home Groups
- Task Groups
- Mission Groups
- Cell Groups
- Choir Groups
- Bible Study Groups
- Worship Groups
- Fellowship Groups
- Care Groups
- Recovery Groups
- Service Project Groups
- Outreach Groups
- Leadership Development Groups
- Church Leadership Groups
- Committee Groups
- Short-term Sermon Study Groups
- Sports Groups
- Sunday School Groups
The book entitled Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of my favorites. I've probably read it eight or nine times. Written after his experience of leading an underground seminary during the days of Nazi rule, this book records his reflections on how this group of ministers in training moved beyond simply connecting as fellow students, that is warm bodies who shared the same space and activities and moved into life together.
Connecting is a good thing. We need places to connect with others in our churches, especially in a world that is dominated by isolationism and individualism. However, don't we need more than groups that put warm bodies in proximity with each other once per week? Isn't there more to group life than just connecting so that we accomplish the stated purpose of the group that meets for 90 minutes and then we go back to our disparate lives?
Are we settling for connecting when we could be experiencing life together?
What is the difference between the two?
What does it take to move into life together?