Friday, April 28, 2006

not content to be spoon-fed

another characteristic of the emerging postmodern culture is a tendency to question everything. Postmodernists are not content to be spoon-fed “truths”, but prefer instead to arrive at their own decision on matters through questioning and experimentation.

Fortunately, there is already a working model of Church that allows for this tendency. Cell Church, based around small, mutually accountable groups, allows people to discuss matters in-depth in a way that simply is not possible in a larger gathering.

Although Cell Church is seen as a new concept, and may therefore meet resistance from some quarters, there is a historical basis for small groups in The Salvation Army. During the Army’s early history, towns were divided up into “wards”. Comrades from each ward would meet together in a small group setting. Reintroducing this idea as part of corps life, while ensuring opportunity is given for discussion and teaching in the ward meeting, would allow people to explore their faith in a mutually supportive and accountable environment. Whether the groups are called “cells” or “wards” is irrelevant, it is the idea of allowing people to explore issues rather than being spoon-fed on a Sunday that the Army needs to embrace if it is to effectively reach people today.
My pal Chris over in Glenrothes is a Salvation Army officer... this is a quote from an essay he wrote while at College.

It approaches post modern life from a fresh perspective. The above quote lends weight to my view that "cells" are key to church :: building and maintaining community in this way is critical to the development of meaning - meaning in relationships and meaning in our understanding of the faith.

Recommend you check it out... I've not finished digesting it and will post on it further.

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Paula said...

One of the things I like best about small groups is how easy it is to bring un-churched people in. Our group's leaders have befriended their neighbours, and though they are completely unchurched, they come over for meals with all of us, they come to our parties and poker games...I'll bet they have more friends who are believers than aren't! And isn't relationship the best way to fully communicate the love of God? I think so, and it sure is a lot more fun than "witnessing".

Chris H said...

I'd love to use that model in our church, humfer. We're looking into starting cells, and hopefully tying them up with what the message was about that Sunday.


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