"The optimal ingredient for life change is a small group." No doubt you’ve heard that line many times (or some variation of it). These days I am more convinced than ever that there is some truth to the line, but not the whole truth. I actually think it’s better to say something like, "Small groups are the most efficient delivery system for life change." Why the change? Two reasons:
- Joe Myers’ best seller The Search to Belong makes a very compelling case for the fact that not everyone will relate in the same way to a group of 8 to 10 other adults. Cookie cutter, mass produced groups won’t necessarily meet the individual needs of everyone. At the same time, launching a wave of small groups might be the most efficient way to engage a large number at one time.
- Everywhere in our culture "customized experiences" are becoming expected. Think Starbucks and "make it your drink." Google’s "iGoogle" that allows each user to customize their home page. Even In-n-Out allows their customers to "co-create" a burger from their very simple menu. One of the many interesting findings in Willow’s Reveal study was that it would take different experiences to move someone from seeker to "close to Christ." Some of my thinking on this point is being influenced The New Age of Innovation, an interesting new book by C.K. Prahalad and M.S. Krishnan. I’ve written more about it right here.
In the meantime, what do you think? Does this make sense? How does it align with the ideas of Simple Church