02 October 2009

Eaton Ford (day) - Chat and prayer

This was the first time back at Paul's after my trip to America. Paul and I cleared some junk for a friend and took it to the tip, then went back to his place and chatted over coffee while we waited for Roger to arrive. Fish and chipsPaul and Roger had met while I was away, but only once. It had been a busy time.

When Roger joined us we spent a while discussing what has been happening in our lives and listing people and issues we felt we should include in our prayer. This covered illnesses, people moving house and needing to settle in a new area, family difficulties, and the possibility of volunteer prison work.

Afterwards it was good to chat about some of the things that I'd learned at the House2House conference. I ran through Neil Cole's thoughts on the effect of group size on the nature of meetings, what Neil calls the 'gravity' of social groupings.

2 to 3 people - a good number for intimate, real, deep interaction and relationship. Typical of the way closest friends interact. Jesus sent out the disciples in twos, and the list of disciples in Matthew 10:2-4 is given in pairs.

12 to 15 - this size of group interacts more like a family, there is much more diversity than a group of 2 or 3. Typical of simple, organic church.

25-75 - numbers in this range are useful for training, mission, and equipping.

120-150 - 10 to 15 churches meeting together for example. Groups of this size seem to be a relational maximum, people can't remember names and faces for groups exceeding this size. A network of simple churches is typically this size.

300-500 - not an unusual size for a conference or some kind of special gathering, functions that don't require that everyone knows one another.

Unlimited multitudes - Jesus taught large crowds on the hillside, at this scale it's possible to teach content but not to mentor.

We finished up by having lunch together, and as we hadn't prepared anything we walked down to the local chip shop and feasted on fish and chips or sausage and chips. Excellent food and great fellowship!

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