I have just finished reading this book for a class and I have so many reactions to it that I am struggling to sort them out. I need to write a paper on it and so I am sure during that incubation period my brain will move from a "spaghetti" state to a more logical state over the book. Perhaps I should sort out my thoughts before trying to blog about some of them. Oh, well - this may help sort things out.
I am not sure that the model of small group community presented in this book is attractive to me (can I say that without being labelled consumeristic?). I understand that missional living and true community can happen best when lived out authentically in one's place of business, school, work and neighborhood. I get that. I am not sure though that I can fully embrace the intensity of it. Bottom line, I get bored too quicky. If I feel like I have to be with the same people, all the time, I tend to flee. It is a very strange trait, and I know that already. I have a circle of friends that I share great intimacy and community with. I love that, but it seems so spontaneous and creative still, compared to the "mandated" manner in which this small group system of Frazee's appears. Bottom line, I think I tend to lose interest and get bored with something (even as necessary as communtiy) when I am backed into a corner and have no option for change or reinvention.
Having said that, I understand the point of the system laid out in the book, is to make community "all of life" and not a system or a program. It is a way of being in the world, the church and in life. I know that in my head, I can't get my heart to go there completely.
But here is one thing I have loved from this book. Frazee talks about community forming around common belief. It is a rare thing to truly share common beliefs on theological issues. He sees this as a barrier to community. I have never thought of this and sometimes even pride myself on "being different" to the group. So, I have explored this idea and pulled the "30 core beliefs" from the Pantego church website. The reason it is making me excited, is that I think I have a core of things I want to teach my kids. Not that they have to flesh out the same way, but so that we can hold up these things and say, "this is what I believe." I love this. It is perhaps the start of them developing a true theology & ecclesiology.