Chapter 12 » 12.20

Small groups

Meeting together in small groups

As Friends, we know that the quality of our unprogrammed worship is enhanced, and our care of one another is more effective, the better we come to know and understand one another.

We grow closer to one another as a worshipping community develops through regular attendance at meeting for worship, through working together physically or mentally, and in meeting with one another informally. Meeting together in small groups may have its part to play in this process, and may be valuable in helping us to explore and share our spiritual experience. Study and discussion groups provide well-tried opportunities, as do more informal social gatherings.

From time to time it may be helpful for a meeting to look at itself and try to identify specific areas that need attention, such as how to improve pastoral care, how to include attenders and newcomers, or how to improve communication and outreach. While these matters may well be raised in a local or area meeting, valuable suggestions and solutions may come from individuals who do not always find it easy to voice them in a more formal business meeting. The time given to preparation of heart and mind may also contribute very usefully to the right ordering of our meetings for church affairs. (See also 3.26.)

Elders and overseers may consider it part of their role to review the needs and workings of small groups in their meetings.

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