One of my daughters gave me this book and I immediately dove into it. The first chapter “Community” captivated me. I dove deeper into the book and it got me wondering if anyone within the RZIM community has any thoughts as to whether or not the author’s directives can be applied to a Small Group setting. I desire to incorporate his teachings into my group but want to be slow and deliberate. (I tend to jump into things like this headfirst without testing the waters) Any suggestions?
Oh my word, I love this book! It’s been a while since I’ve read it, so I’m in need of some refreshing. But first, you asked about the small group setting, and I’m wondering what directives stood out to you in particular?
I keep coming back to “The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and his work become the one and only thing that is vital between us.” I just wonder, though, if these teachings and others can be applied in a small group setting? Is a small group a Christian community as Bonhoeffer describes? Or am I taking it too far?
When he wrote this book, I think he did have in mind more of a monastic community. That is, where people are all living together. They eat together, the pray together, they study together daily, etc. However, I do think some of the general principles can be extrapolated. Have you read the whole book yet? I was especially moved by his thoughts on the importance of confession. Though, that would, ideally, be done one-to-one or in triplets, rather than a mixed small group! There were others too, but I’m blanking. I need to go grab my book…
It’s the longest little book I’ve ever tried reading. Every word has meaning, but I am also trying to discern what is purely his opinion.