We are all about Small Groups in GCF.
Here's some crazy (but potentially true) theology...
God wants everyone to have an opportunity to be a part of a Small Group.
That's a bold statement, I know. It borders on ignoring the "don't take the name of the Lord in vain" suggestion from Exodus (the most commonly misunderstood suggestion from the 10 Suggestions Moses brought down from the mountain).
Mis-hearers could think I'm saying "God wants everyone to join GCF" or "God wants everyone to sit in the circle formation and share their feelings." They might hear me saying "forget the church, join a Small Group" or "Mega-churches are demonic."
But that's not what I'm saying at all.
When God rescues us from the realm of sin and death and transfers us from darkness into his marvelous light, we find ourselves united to Christ. Our union to Christ is the core of the Christian gospel. When we are united to Christ, we are immediately united to other Christians. All other Christians, in fact. Every single one of them, from the nutjobs who embarrass us on TV to the saints who died in Nero's fires. We become the Church.
The Church is universal, magnificent and invisible. She is scattered across the globe and stretched through history. One day, she will be seen in all her beauty, on display like a bride at the altar, but until that day, the Church universal remains the Church invisible.
But the church exists now, today. You can find her in small pockets, gathering for worship and prayer and ministry and service. And this is where Small Groups come in.
I believe that God desires that all would be united to Christ. This means that God desires that all would also be united to the Church (since one cannot be united to Christ and not, through him, the others who are united to him). Small Groups form the cells of the body of Christ.
All churches have Small Groups. Already. And we are all part of Small Groups. Already. This may come as a surprise.
All churches already have Small Groups, but they might not be very good. One Small Group might be the cluster of people who always sit on the left and grunt approving grunts during the special music. It's not a great Small Group. It's actually a horrible Small Group, but it's a fledgling community. Small Groups don't have to be official. They don't have to be structured or sanctioned or strategic. They CAN be all of those things, but they don't HAVE TO BE.
The question isn't "Will the church have Small Groups or not?". It's "Will the church have good Small Groups or horrible ones? Intentional Small Groups or accidental ones? Helpful Small Groups or harmful ones?"
We were recently at a church that had a Small Group for Women, one for Youth, one for 20somethings, one for people who like to go to church on Wednesdays, one for people who grew up going to Sunday School and like their Small Groups to be called "Sunday School", one for folks over 50 who like to pray, one for parents with children, one for people who love to gossip, one for Board Members and one for people who love April Nix's creations at Nix Kitchen and Garden.
We're all about Small Groups here. We're all about Small Groups because we love the Church and because we love the God who brings the Church into existence.