“We are a heathen company, more devoted to the customs
and Holy Days than to the Holiness itself. We find more
pleasure in the song and dance of God than in the piety…”
“The greatest discoveries a person can make is that God
is not confined to churches, but that the streets are
sacred because His presence is there; that the market-
place is one of His abiding places and ought, therefore,
to be a sanctuary. Any moment in any place, the veil can
suddenly grow thin and God can be seen [R. C. Gillie].
You are being invited to support the premise of this essay, that the most effective way to worship God and carry out the mission of the Church of Christ - to help make real the kingdom of God/heaven on earth - is in and through the unique nurturing format of a small-group church or a church small-group; and to regard the historic Wesleyan small group as a highly effective model for such a distinctly unique enterprise. A profoundly deep and personally satisfying and maturing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and His devoted followers is best cultivated in the context of a small group. This proposition can be cogently supported on biblical, theological, psychological, sociological and cultural grounds.
The ecclesiastical priority, however, has been to emphasize the paramount importance of church-planting and growth toward establishing mega-churches, with the anticipated and perceived laudable goals and benefits - implied or otherwise - of success, global missions outreach, the aura of power and influence, thus solidifying status of the privileged middle and upper class, denominational competition and, above all, the ostentatious material wealth of prosperity and civil-religion in its many catchy, popular and seductive guises.
A Gallup News Service poll was taken in The United States over three days in March, 2007. The survey, of about 600 men and women, indicated that “church” means many different things to people. One result of the poll shows that a majority of persons [about 75%] attend church for social, business, personal status-building and other non-religious, non-spiritual, non-theological reasons. The truer, deeper interests of this number, appear to be with more self-centered goals, and not that of Christ and His Church. It would appear that the church is increasingly becoming more a social and entertainment club than a fellowship for Christian formation, discipleship and mission.
Given the developing atmosphere of church-secularization, it is not surprising that a growing number of self-described “atheist churches” are springing up all over the world. Since its inception, the atheist church has amassed a large following. The First Church of Atheism [FCA] for example, makes it possible for one to become a legally ordained minister for life, without cost, and without question. FCA ministers come from all walks of life. They are every race, ethnicity, age, and creed. The one thing binding every minister is his or her belief in science, reason, reality. Church atheism invites its members to pursue and cherish their realistic beliefs without interference from any outside agency, including government or other church authority, with every atheist member having a right to perform clergy functions.
The atheist church is a place to celebrate the absence of God. Participants who are vested in the life of Christian worship and witness should be careful to see that the church does not become a place without Christ and, therefore, a place of godless dehumanization – and nobody realizes it. It would appear to be increasingly true, as Jim Crace has insightfully noted: “We are a heathen company, more devoted to the customs and Holy Days than to the Holiness itself.”
Contrast the purely social and atheist-based church emphases with Bill Hybles of Willow Creek Community Church, who argues that all persons in Christian-based, Christ-centered churches should be actively engaged in a small group. Willow Creek is solely devoted to the idea of “building churches on, in and through small groups”, and converting irreligious [seekers] and religious [believers] persons into fully devoted disciples of Christ. I once attended a leadership conference at Willow Creek, in South Barrington, Illinois, and heard Bill Hybles say: “Here, at Willow Creek, we believe that people grow better in circles than they do in rows. Small groups are a great way to grow deeper in your faith,” he continued, “with those you enjoy being around”.
The efficacy of focusing primarily on growing the church through small groups, and establishing individual congregational churches as small-groups in their own right – mainly in homes - is theologically, biblically and ecclesiologically sound. It also makes practical common sense. This even more so in a world which is becoming increasingly and predictably more mobile, experimental, experiential, dispersed, dynamic, inter-culturally and secularly modern. Modernity increasingly demands a more fluid and diverse church. Furthermore, as Thomas M. Morrow aptly reminds us in his book Worship and Preaching: “The main purpose of worship is not to make us feel better, to listen to brilliant sermons, be stirred by good singing, thrilled by pomp and ceremony… The main purpose of worship is to glorify and adore God. People are not the center of worship - God is…” The main focus of a disciple of Christ ought to be serving and glorifying Almighty God, to connect with and serve one another at a deeper, more authentic level. A church of small groups enables members to focus more exclusively on the divine and one another [More particularly, as John Wesley said: “To those who need you most”]
There is a specific rationale and impetus for my near obsessive interest on the importance of giving focused-attention to ideas, ways and means related to small-group church formation as an end in itself. It is grounded in my professional emphasis which has always been on the psychosocial elements of spirituality, and what it means to be an authentic human being as seen in the life, message and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth the human life of God, my Lord and Savior. The primary touchstone for my thinking and praxis is grounded in what is arguably the most radically profound statement of the Christian/Wesleyan ethos: The Word [God] became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood [John 1:14 – Eugene Peterson -The Message]. An embrace of this reality - heart, mind, soul and strength - implies that you and I are not now human beings trying to be spiritual but spiritual beings aspiring to be fully human. This frame of reference has been reinforced for me by what is described as the Wesleyan/Methodist Quadrilateral; which affirms that the living core of Christian faith was revealed in scripture, illumined by tradition, enlivened in personal experience, and confirmed by reason.
My sharing in this paper arises in the context of one not a little familiar with the chosen academic and integrated co-fields of psychology and systematic theology. For many years I worked vocationally in sector-ministry at a psychiatric hospital, and in a private capacity, primarily as a psychotheologian. During that time I was also drawn into establishing a counselling and human resource center, which included a home for abused women, and separately, a half-way house for victims of alcoholism. These, and other related activities, have always been more fulfilling and God-inspiring than pastoring exclusively within the confines of the four-walled pastorate. An attempt to fuse and span simultaneously the two modalities of clinical and congregational, proved to be highly stressful, impractical and, for myself at least, somewhat ineffective. Nonetheless, over time I came to fully acknowledge that parish work is truly a specialized - and highly underappreciated - ministry unto itself. For many moons, my butterfly-like ministry drifted from one pole to the other, in erratic and somewhat rudderless fashion.
But throughout those fast moving and ever-searching years of ministry, I was always intensely and satisfyingly engaged in a wide variety of small groups. These small groups had, in reality, become my true church. The presence of Christ seemed always, and unfailingly, to reside in small, intimate group settings. As with John Wesley, the world, more specifically, the world of small groups, became my parish. To be more precise, the world outside the world of my denominational cocoon became my parish; yet, I must immediately add, thankfully and appreciatively, with the full blessing of Bahamian Methodism and its people of grace, understanding, generosity and support. Along the way I was allowed [by divine providence I believe] to be thrust more directly into the spheres of poverty and the poor at the micro and macro levels, and also in the field of alcoholism and drug addictions education, treatment and prevention.
It came to pass, that in the years of my early-thirties [I’m seventy-three now, and my 30s seem a long time ago]; anyway, at a pastoral and psychotherapeutic level, I arrived at what was for me a profound, yet not surprising conclusion: Human transformation, restoration, salvation, redemption, loving-kindness, insight, mercy giving and receiving, be it in church or society, take place most effectively, potently and self-sustainingly on the basis of one-on-one interpersonal interaction, in small groups. This hard-earned and sobering knowledge has had special significance for how finally I came to believe the local and church universal should be organized for its strategic and tactical formation and outreach. A persuasive case in point was to examine the celebrated “twelve-step” process and technique initiated by Alcoholics Anonymous. But first, a brief word about psychotheology.
Twelve-Step groups, and small groups generally, represent an excellent example of the fluid and credible dynamics of psychotheology for consideration into the mainstream of ecclesiastical pedagogy. Early in my professional career I conceived the idea of pragmatically blending what I regarded as the best of my wonderful, complex, mysterious and often enigmatic psychological and theological worlds. Hence psychotheology, which is not strictly comparable to psycho-religion or psycho-spirituality. My primary theological orientation, commitment or bias, if you wish, is primarily out of the Jewish-Christian genre, with the highest priority given to the life and core teaching of Christ as reflected specifically in the four gospels. My psychological predisposition is mainly out of the Freudian and Jungian traditions. I am entirely comfortable working eclectically between these two somewhat diverse, yet often complementary modalities.
Psychotheology is the interface of healthy or dis-eased ideas about “God/god” on the one hand, and rational theories of human psychology, personality and behavior on the other, concerning their natural and symbiotic interconnectedness of health, healing and wholeness of the individual, toward coping effectively with reality. Every psychological occurrence elicits a theological interpretation and every theological concept invites a psychological interpretation. My contention is that in more ways than one can possibly imagine, psychology and theology are synergetically and dynamically intertwined.
Turning now to the twelve-step program. It is a set of guiding principles [often regarded as spiritual principles] outlining a course of action for tackling problems such as alcoholism, drug abuse and addiction compulsions of all types [gambling, crime, food, religion, work, sex, hording, and emotional dysfunctionalism of any kind etc.]. We probably all know that the original twelve steps were proposed by Alcoholics Anonymous [AA] in the 1939 book titled, Alcoholics Anonymous. Over time, the method was adapted and became the foundation of all other “twelve-step” programs. “Each group” [often known as fellowships], “has but one primary purpose/mission – to carry its message to the alcoholic [or addicted person] who still suffers.”
The American Psychological Association has summarized and condensed the initial 12 steps as follows:
●Admitting that one cannot control one’s alcoholism, addiction or compulsion.
●Recognizing a higher power that can restore sanity.
●Examining past errors with the help of a sponsor [experienced member].
●Making amends for these errors.
●Learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior.
●Helping others who suffer from alcoholism, addictions or compulsions.
The first two, and most important steps in a twelve-step group are: Step One - We admitted we were powerless over alcohol. To alcohol one might add: people, places, prescribed or illicit chemicals and other drugs, uncontrollable desire, or any other thing or circumstance one might be facing which creates an addicting or addictive experience, syndrome or dependency. Step one states that as a result of alcohol “our lives had become unmanageable”. And Step Two - Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
The statement in the first step that the individual is “powerless” over substance-abuse or any other destructive behavior, refers to the lack of control over the particular compulsion or addiction. This situation may persist despite any adverse consequences that the person may endure as a direct result of his or her self-destructive behavior. Twelve-Step groups emphasize candid, open and frank self-admission by participants regarding the problem with which they are dealing or from which they are recovering. The spiritual dimension or malady of the addictive illness is considered by many twelve-step groups to be self-centeredness. The twelve-step process of “working the steps” is intended to replace self-centeredness, and, therefore, self-destruction, with a growing, healthy, moral consciousness and a willingness to doggedly pursue a path of self-sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action. All sounds very “Christianly” - doesn’t it?
A psychotheological and biblical interpretation, or understanding, of the iconic Twelve-Steps, which may be applied at the individual, group [secular or sacred] or congregational level, looks something like this:
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over the effects of our separation from God – that our lives had become unmanageable [i.e. Recognizing our brokenness/sin – Romans 7:18].
Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity [i.e. The birth or rebirth of faith – Philippians 2:13].
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him [i.e. Decision to allow God to be in total charge of our lives - Romans 12:1].
Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves [i.e. Self-examination – Lamentations 3:40]
Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs [i.e. The discipline of confession – James 5:16a]
Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character [i.e. Inner transformation or heart-felt repentance – James 4:10].
Step 7: Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings [i.e. Transformation, purification and/or sanctification of our character. The path to holiness, if you wish [i.e. 1 John 1:9].
Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all [i.e. A fearless examination of all our relationships and sincere preparation to make amends – Luke 6:31]
Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others [i.e. The discipline of making amends or confession continued – Matthew 5:23f].
Step 10: Continued to make personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it [i.e. Resolution to make and maintain progress or momentum in recovery from setbacks, addictions, sinful attitudes and behavior – 1 Corinthians 10:12f].
Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out [i.e. Exercising the spiritual disciplines of prayer, spiritual development, meditation and study of the bible – Colossians 3: 16f].
Step 12: Having a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry out this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs [i.e. Galatians 6:1f].
It’s been my privilege several times to share in the extraordinary dynamics and caring, supportive atmosphere of a Twelve-Step group fellowship. The benefits of these small groups are beyond measure. The emotional, spiritual, supportive and caring interpersonal atmosphere are almost indescribable. Twelve-step small groups are generally places of brutal redemptive honesty, courage and hope. Each participant decides if he or she has an addiction or an addictive personality. It is a place where you will never be judged; where you are unconditionally accepted just as you are, warts and all; where one feels literally and extraordinarily undergirded and affirmed – body, mind and spirit.
Twelve-step small groups simulate a sense of what the kingdom of God must be like; much as the church may have been in its first and second century infancy. Much too, like eighteen-century small-group Wesleyanism, which were, gatherings that practiced unconditional, exuberant acceptance. They were Spirit-filled, heavenly. In some way shape or form, church participant or not, each and every one of us is an addict to and of something or someone. We are all addicts in need of a redemptive and liberating small group.
Jesus too was a member of a small group and founded one himself. These transfixing, not-to-be ignored words of Jesus, shared with His disciples, are recorded in Matthew 18:19-20: I tell you that if two of you agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Here Jesus makes the point cogently and dramatically that He is potently, seemingly flamboyantly present, in the presence [in the very middle] of two or three. The specific words of our Lord in this text is two or three, not two or three hundred or thousand, should be underlined. Small groups are a breeding ground for the living presence of Christ, who, it would appear, has put His peculiar stamp of approval on them.
It is well attested that in the earliest years, the first Christians brought into being a deeper, more uniquely radical idea of love. We see this most impressively demonstrated in what has been popularly referenced as The Acts Chapter Two Church, which originated in embryonic form of small groupings of follower/members as “home/house churches”.
Incontrovertible evidence shows that from the very beginning small groups were a part of the life of Christianity, an integral part of early church structure. The groups were small enough to allow one another to use their unique spiritual and personal gifts, and to share in and teach the message about the life, crucifixion, and resurrection of the ever-present Messiah - The Lord Jesus Christ. There is a cliché which runs that for the first three hundred years of its existence, the church gossiped its way across Europe, operating out of caves and small groups, with little formalized structure. Those years proved to be the church’s most dynamic and growth producing. They were long preceded by Jesus appointing a small core, a band of twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with Him [Mark 3:14]. The First Church of Christ “On this Rock” [Matt. 16:18] and of Jerusalem [Acts 1], was comprised of a small group of at least twelve souls. This first small group morphed into another, and they into another ad-infinitum.
Let’s turn now to our own distinctive parochial tradition, Wesleyan-Methodism, as passed on by John Wesley - first manifested in small groups, bands, classes, unorganized societies – which highlighted the life of Christian perfection: to love God with all one’s heart, mind, soul and strength and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Over time, this and other developing doctrinal and religio-biblical affirmations, incorporated among other things, the tenets of the Methodist Quadrilateral, noted earlier.
In April, 1739, John Wesley, encouraged and supported by George Whitfield, met with six gathered “societies”. They were small groups of men and women prepared to meet together for mutual confession and “healing of their souls”. Thus was initiated the Methodist small class meeting. Much like a twelve-step group, under the guidance of a leader, the Methodist class meeting begun with a kind, caring and penetrating question, intended to elicit honesty and confession: “How is it with thy soul brother/sister?” In AA and other twelve-step programs, a comparable member introduction would be: “Hi! My name is Colin and I’m an alcoholic.”
Wesleyan and Methodist scholars, including Cyril Davey, Robert G. Tuttle, Jr., Leslie Weatherhead, Frank Baker, Colin W. Williams and others, are keen to point out the nexus of belief, faith and practice, and their birth and genesis in and through the process of “the holy clubs” [A contribution of Wesley’s Anglicanism, usually comprising 7 to 12 persons], “bands”, “classes” and “societies”. These were the foundational underpinnings of Wesley’s first “unorganized church”, and eventually, of “the methodical ones” - Methodism itself. The emphasis was mutual concern for one other and living an orderly life of prayer, worship and service, especially among the poor. These and other elements comprised the vital, organic beginnings of earliest Wesleyan/Methodist formation; all birthed, groomed, nourished and blossomed in small groups.
On May 12th, 1739, the cornerstone of the first Methodist chapel was laid. Methodist preachers were present. They had come to work with the local societies, which were relatively small, group-based congregations. The “united societies” were organized into classes and bands - small groups; none of them consisting of fewer than five or more than ten souls. Some duties of leaders in relation to their class responsibility were: “To see each person in his class once a week; to enquire how their souls prosper; to advise, reprove, comfort, or exhort them.” The class leader was also expected, “to receive what the members were willing to give toward the expenses of the society… to inform the minister of any that are sick, or of any that walk disorderly and will not be reproved…”
Colin Williams writes: “John Wesley’s view of holiness was woven into his
ecclesiology. He believed that the gathering together of believers
into small voluntary societies for mutual discipline and Christian
growth was essential to the Church’s life…. Wesley believed that his
class meetings represented the genius of primitive Christianity and
that God had given him a vision of the way in which these ecclesiolae
could be the means of spreading scriptural holiness throughout the land.”
[Colin W. Williams’ John Wesley’s Theology Today, pp.151-152 – Epworthress, 1960]
In British Methodism the class or small group was encouraged and in force until 1912, at which time, as I understand it, the British Conference effectively abolished attendance at class meeting as a requirement for membership. Contrast this with Caribbean and Bahamian traditions, where, upon becoming a formal member of the Methodist family, along with being given a bible -and in some cases a hymnal - the confirmant was publically handed his or her membership card, with name and minister inscribed on one side, and overside outlining, “A short guide to the duties of church membership.” As a boy, I was expected to faithfully attend class meeting every pre-service on Sunday with subscription-dues and bible in hand, eager at the appropriate time to speak out, “C. Archer, present.” But even then, attendance at class meeting was becoming largely ceremonial and somewhat perfunctory. The comparative dynamism of an Acts Chapter Two small-church-group, or the inviting and redemptive atmospherics of a healthy Twelve-Step group, were absent in my childhood class meeting.
Upon establishment in 1993 of The Bahamas Conference of The Methodist Church [BCMC], its constitution, standing orders and deed of church union, reflected a detailed description of the seminal importance of small groups [Christian Care Groups – CCGs, as they are described] for strengthening the healthy formation and growth of the local congregation. Here is one such paragraph: “Mission statement of a small Christian Care Group in the BCMC: To connect people relationally in groups of six to ten individuals, for the purpose of growing in Christlikeness, loving one another and contributing to the work of the church, in order to glorify God and make disciples.” Update: A mere twenty-two years into BCMCs establishment, the status of Christian Care Groups is arguably one of un-enthusiasm. Generally speaking, the groups are anemic and poorly supported.
In the closing months of 2013, I was much inclined to center my thoughts and energy on the subject of widespread loss and general disinterest in small group main-line Christian church activity. The title of my paper, released Jaunary 1st, 2014, Rationale for Establishing a Spirit of Christ [SOC] Gathering [Gathering=small group], was published online [may be accessed at: www.thebahamasweekly.com.] The paper, somewhat extensive in scope, shares in depth my sincerely held views on the matter of small groups in a congregational setting – and more precisely, inside Christian homes. This is what is said in the closing pages of the paper: “My wife, Marjorie, son Kevin and I, have invited friends to gather together at our home, several days hence, on January 6th, 5:45-7pm, The Feast Day of The Epiphany of Our Lord [also called the New Advent], to inaugurate our first SOC gathering. We celebrate Epiphany as the traditional date for the magi’s arriving in Bethlehem from the East to pay homage to the Christ child. Epiphany is an event that signals the acknowledgement of Jesus as the universal Savior of all humankind. The day is significant but often neglected but it is not difficult to imagine God’s proclamation of hope through the prophet Isaiah, later reinforced by Jesus, inviting those who are blind, yet have eyes, those who are deaf, yet have ears, to gather and bear witness to the saving grace of God [Isaiah 43:8; John 9:39].”
Is it too much to ask friends and colleagues assembled at this august Wesleyan symposium, to see with new eyes, hear with fresh hearing and ponder deeply once again some of the core issues regarding a return to the seminal place and function of small groups in the life and witness of today’s modern church? A refocus on the earliest years of New Testament Christianity and Wesleyan roots and shoots is an excellent place to begin.
Wesleyan/Methodism has the history and know how to do small groups the right way. Christian small groups are exquisitely designed to support the poor in spirit, meek, merciful, peacemakers and dispossessed – to usher in a glimpse of the kingdom of God with rich soil, where good seed may grow. A small group is the place where head, heart and hand most naturally blend. It is a place to most effectively sharpen the tools of moral and values clarification; a place where the wholly transformative and sustaining Spirit of Christ is most profoundly experienced and lived out. God speaks and saves through pain and pathos, silence and sorrow, hopes, dreams and joys of others – up close and personal – in and through small groups.
We all probably agree – even at some instinctive and common sense level - that small groups do work wonders, even miracles, from time to time. Bede Naegele, O.C.D., reminds us that “only spiritual love can overcome the power of human weakness.” There is probably no better way, at one and the same time, to bolster spiritual love and diminish the power of human weakness, than in the context of small groups.
Why it is then that small groups have largely fallen out of favor in the liberating intimacy of transforming [saving] lives? Is it because they have the potential to overwhelm and profoundly intimidate our modern psyche, which is so much wedded to technological seduction and the depersonalization of the unsocial, de-socialized media? As human beings, we may be slowly but surely developing a dysfunctional aversion and the inability to naturally process and internalize physical, emotional, moral, spiritual closeness, kindness, and shared Christian responsibility.
One might also reasonably conclude that the pernicious intoxicating pursuit of macro prosperity, entertainment gospel activity, mitigates against that of micro small group formation with its emphasis on the inestimable value of persons over profits and things inanimate. God aught always prevail over gold. It is a curious truth that those who believe they have something often have nothing, and those with nothing have something. The Japanese poet Ryokan says: “If you want to find meaning, stop chasing after so many things.” People, not things, bring meaning. Or, as Martin Buber long ago profoundly observed: “Life is meeting.” Meeting brings meaning, and meaning implies meeting. And the best way to bring about meaningful meeting is in and through small groups. Let us not forget that the most important of all small groups is God’s ordained nuclear family. The dynamics of healthy small group activity embody the intrinsic advantage of helping to neutralize the interconnected cosmic conundrum of impermanence, suffering and egolessness, referenced in one of the ancient philosophies [Buddhism], which confront us on a daily and unremitting basis. To these three stark and dominant negative realities a Christian small group may juxtapose the potent and neutralizing positive forces of faith, hope and love. At another, not unrelated level, R. J. Stuart reminds us that good company on the road makes the way seem lighter. Good company and the lighter way are always found in healthy Christian small groups.
It is in the sacred presence of other human beings, essentially devoid of things, that you and I come to regard people, not things, as the essence of life. Faith, hope and love are best experienced, lived out and generously shared with others in the context of small groups, especially when two or three are gathered together in the name of the crucified, resurrected and ever-present Christ.
In Frederick Buechner’s book, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, the story is told of a nativity play staged by children. All went smoothly until one angel, a girl who was smaller than most of them, craned her neck and standing frustrated on tiptoes electrified the entire church by crying out in a voice shrill with irritation and enormous sadness at having her view blocked, shouted, “Let Jesus show!”
In the final analysis, our primary task and goal must be to allow God who became flesh in Christ Jesus to “be shown”; to come alive, real and in living, breathing, vivid color, among us in the here and now. Sacred, Christ-directed activity, has been manifest in chapel, cathedral, business, neighborhood or home. But in these contexts, the vision of Christ and of His redeeming works, ought to be most powerfully, potently, creatively and effectively displayed in Christian churches that are grounded and built exclusively of, by, in, through and around small groups, such as once pragmatically, powerfully and indisputably demonstrated in the life and witness of earliest Christian formation and historic Wesleyanism. You and I are solemnly called, once again in the words of Charles Wesley, to: “Ever begin what never shall end.” As fully devoted disciples of Christ we are mandated, commanded, to let Christ show!
I am unable to think of a better way to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness [Matt.6:33], than has been manifestly demonstrated in and through the aegis of a small group; more specifically the Wesleyan small group Church. Why not let us, once again, give this model a vigorous refocus?
Colin B. Archer,
Trinity Methodist Church,
Nassau, N.P. Bahamas
January 8th, 2016