Tuesday, February 24, 2015

We had a lively discussion at our last CEF gathering exploring the book The Class Meeting by Kevin Watson. Here is my summation of our discussion regarding types of small classes/small groups.

Kevin Watson distinguishes three types of classes: Affinity Groups, Information-driven groups, Transformation-driven groups. We discussed the strengths and weaknesses of each at our last CEF meeting. We did note however, that some groups could contain elements of each. We even discussed that some things can be both a strength and limitation. For example, while vulnerability great, it also opens the door to damaging gossip. See if you would add anything to our list:
Affinity Groups
Ø  Strengths
o   Building relationships
o   Invitational or entry point
o   Can build trust
o   Usually only a short time commitment
Ø  Limitations
o   Only surface level engagement
o   Often appear to be a closed group
o   Often discontinuity within the group participants
Informational-driven Groups
Ø  Strengths
o   Structure
o   Control
o   Easier to communicate specifics about the group
o   Scheduled
o   Learn foundational theological language and tools
o   Long-standing
o   Build a level of trust and comfort (some community)
Ø  Limitations
o   Can be closed off
o   Not always aiming for life application
o   Doesn’t not always become challenging enough
o   Often personality driven
o   Often lecture oriented
o   Focus is often on the intellectual
Transformational-driven Groups
Ø  Strengths
o   Focus on Transformation
o   This focus can spread to other groups
o   Facilitates an encounter with Christ
o   Fosters deeper trust, intimacy, and community
o   Ability to foster vulnerability
Ø  Limitations
o   Requires trained, skilled teachers
o   Takes a while to develop depth
o   Could foster Gossip

Do you see some other strengths or limitations we did not mention? 

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