At our conference, JR Woodward talked about these “Four Spaces of Belonging” in relation to launching campus movements as well as churches, but it also reminded me of something I heard at a marriage conference. This concept of group size and communication feels like it has important implications for all areas of life.
JR was talking about how Jesus’ main ministry was not to the crowds on Sunday morning, but increasingly to the 72 (Luke 10), the 12 (search BibleGateway.com for “to his disciples”) and the 3 (Mark 5:37; Mark 9:2; Mark 14:33). It seems that Jesus believed that really opening up to and pouring deeply into a few who would be faithful to pass it on would have the highest impact; but he also had strategies to empower small groups, commission mid-sized groups, and address the masses. For church and campus ministry, this is a reminder to not let the big meeting become the focal point of our ministry, but to always be looking to draw people deeper into smaller circles of intimacy, where they can grow toward God and each other in a safe space.
On a personal level, it reminds me not to let the most important relationships in my life get brushed away by the busyness of the masses. We just don’t have capacity to invest the whole of ourselves into lots and lots of people. I want to give my best to those God has given me.