I've been reading Joseph R. Meyers' book called, The Search to Belong. In it he speaks of four spaces of belonging that provide "on ramps" for people in the church to connect with one another on different levels. Meyers says, "For harmony and for the sake of health, we need significant belonging in all four spaces." Here are the four spaces he speaks of: Public Space
Public belonging occurs when people connect through an outside influence (i.e. like fans of a sports team that sense community as they support the same team)
Social belonging occurs when we share snapshots of our lives and get just enough information to decide to keep others in this space or move them into our personal space.
Through personal belonging, we share private (not "naked") experiences, feelings, and thoughts. We call the people we connect in this space "close friends."
In intimate belonging, we share "naked" experiences, feelings and thoughts. We have very few relationships that are intimate. These people know the "naked truth" about us and the two of us are not "ashamed."
This idea is one way to rethink community and small groups in your church. What are your thoughts?