From Publishers Weekly Pastor and consultant Frazee begins with a problem that many church leaders admit only hesitantly: small groups, widely hailed as a means to achieve authentic community, often fail to achieve the hoped-for experience of life together. This book follows the story of Frazees congregation, Pantego Bible Church in suburban Dallas Ft. Worth, in its efforts to take [the small group movement] to the next level. Frazees proposal is no quick fix; it belies megachurch stereotypes by taking a countercultural stand against the individualism and consumerism that Frazee says plague contemporary American life. Drawing on biblical models as well as sociological research and urban planning principles, Frazee makes a strong case that the mobility and privacy of American Dream suburbia fosters a spirit of fragmentation and isolation that is unworkable as a basis for authentic community. Frazee recommends consolidating relationships, opting out of multiple activities and superficial social circles in favor of a circle of relationships that produces a sense of genuine belonging. Small groups emerge as a necessary but insufficient ingredient for attaining Frazees vision of biblical community. The authors fondness for lists and systematization make for a dense read at times, but the human insights and real-life examples that really drive the book have a powerful appeal. Given the popularity of small group spirituality, and its potential discontents, this book should find a wide audience. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Read more From the Back Cover The development of meaningful relationships, where every member carries a significant sense of belonging, is central to what it means to be the church. So why do many Christians feel disappointed and disillusioned with their efforts to experience authentic community? Despite the best efforts of pastors, small group leaders, and faithful lay persons, church too often is a place of loneliness rather than connection. Church can be so much better. So intimate and alive. The Connecting Church tells you how. The answer may seem radical today, but it was a central component of life in the early church. First-century Christians knew what it meant to live in vital community with one another, relating with a depth and commitment that made the body of Christ a perfect metaphor for the church. What would it take to reclaim that kind of love, joy, support, and dynamic spiritual growth? Read this book and find out. Read more See all Editorial Reviews
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