The Connecting Church: Beyond Small Groups to Authentic Community

by Randy Frazee. Zondervan Publishing House, 2001.

The small group movement within congregations has largely been focused on providing people with an opportunity for community. Yet what is authentic community? And why do so many find small groups disappointing in their search for community? Randy Frazee seeks to answer these questions as he offers a different model for providing belonging and connection among people.

Frazee identifies individualism, isolation, and consumerism as barriers to true community. He also considers such possible solutions as finding and sharing common purpose, place, and possessions. Using the model of community and home groups practiced in Pantego Bible Church and their "Christian Life Profile" tool as practical examples, he offers a counter-cultural alternative to traditional small groups. The model presented is based largely on forming community and working for the kingdom of God in regular neighborhood gatherings. Frazee offers the theological basis and practical reasoning behind this model, while giving specific ideas on how this model is implemented in a congregation.

This book would be most helpful to congregational leaders seeking to foster community among their members through an avenue other than traditional small groups. However, several of the principles and insights given can be informative and challenging even if the reader chooses not to implement the model presented. Frazee raises significant issues that should be addressed by congregations as they seek to foster community among people in our present world.