From Rows, to Circles, to the Margins

Our church has been encouraged by the ministry of Andy Stanley. We have used his material to equip small and large groups for evangelism and discipleship. One of the things he often says is, “We need to get people out of rows and into circles.” This quote demonstrates a desire to get people connected in small group settings. The assumption is that these people are already taking part in a large worship environment. This emphasis fits our church and many other congregations in the American South. We have some “worship only” people that could really benefit from the challenge and encouragement that comes from small discipleship groups or classes. We do need to get them out of row and into circles of fellowship. But does it stop there? I don't think so.

Last Thursday I attended the Downtown Lenten Service at Central United Methodist Church (We are hosting today so come on – the lunch is free). They have a new senior minister named Bob Rambo. I have immediate affection for anyone named Rambo. “Rambos” remind me of mercenaries and gospel singers, which makes them an interesting lot of folks. Dr. Bob did the typical things a host does during ecumenical gatherings. He told us were the bathroom was, where lunch would be served, and he said the opening prayer. He prayed this during the invocation, “Move us out of our comfortable circles, into the margins where other people you love dwell.” He nailed it. We need to move to the margins.

We teach that there are three fundamental commitments that every Christian needs to embrace. We need to worship God. We need to connect with other believers in small groups. We need a primary mission field. These needs feed on each other. They also require the vitality of movement. So let’s be sure to move from rows, to circles, to the margins, to rows, to circles, to the margins…Until we see Him.


Drew D. said...

Great thoughts. I'm going to try to start following your blog a little more closely.

Drew D. said...

Nice. Great thoughts. I'm going to try to start following your blog a little more closely.

Matt Snowden said...

Words so nice you said 'em twice! We are praying for the Huttos and your church family.

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