One comment we’ve gotten a lot since beginning the conversation about making disciples through small groups here in the Diocese of Birmingham is:
Small groups seem like a fad that is sweeping through protestant churches. It’s a phase that’ll likely fizzle out because it isn’t what we as Catholics have done for thousands of years.
While the sense of caution is always a good thing when it comes to ideas that sound new, spreading the Faith through one-on-one interactions and small groups of people sharing faith is certainly NOT a new idea, nor is it something that is lacking in our Catholic tradition. The following link to an article by Jeff Cavins published by Ascension Press addresses the values that sharing faith in small groups has historically given, and how those values are extremely important today.
Two points of particular importance are:
- Small groups that meet in a home for faith sharing, Bible Study, or catechesis discussion, provide an immediate and visible witness to children about the importance of faith in the lives of their parents, and
- Coördinating, facilitating, or leading a small group provides a sense of responsibility and accountability for the faith, and fosters confidence in leadership among parishioners.