Should church small groups be filed exclusively under the rubric of “Stuff White People Like”? That’s the provocative question that Leadership Journal‘s Out of Ur blog recently posed. Riffing off an interview with leaders from River City Community Church, a multiethnic congregation in Chicago, writer Sam O’Neal wondered aloud if small groups are primarily “a white way to do church.” And the conversation among River City’s leaders does raise some interesting questions about the role that culture plays in shaping our ecclesiological practices.
“The fact is small groups aren’t as important to other ethnicities as they are to white people,” says Arloa Sutter, River City’s pastor of community life.
Adds senior pastor Daniel Hill: “White people rely on small groups to connect. Other ethnicities form community more organically, more relationally.”
Check out the complete post to get a feel for the context and flow of the discussion, and then head back here to continue the conversation UrbanFaith-style.
Since Out of Ur raised the subject, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this: Are small groups primarily a white way of doing church? If you attend a non-white or multiethnic church, what is your congregation’s community structure like? Do you rely on small groups as a way of keeping people connected, or do you have other systems in place? Or do you find that your congregation’s community just flows naturally, or “organically,” as Pastor Hill suggests?
What do you think? Send us your feedback. If we hear from enough of you, we’ll feature some of your thoughts, opinions, and ideas in an UrbanFaith article and share them with the good folks at Out of Ur.