Supernatural, Synergistic, Systems-Thinking Group-Life!

A group expresses itself holistically and organically when it does what the Lord has designed it to do.

"The whole is more than the sum of its parts." Aristotle coined this phrase that summarizes what people mean by "holistic." A similar concept is intended by the word "synergy": A phenomenon that occurs when two or more influences act together to create an effect that is greater than if each agent were to have worked separate from one another. Both are fitting when talking about small groups because when believers gather in Jesus' Name, a supernatural dynamic is birthed into existence that redefines the gathering itself and radiates the richness of the collective experience (Matthew 18:20).

Furthermore, when people say something is "organic," they are usually trying to convey that it is pure or living. It is also fitting to apply this word to small groups because when believers come together to do God's will, Jesus' Presence makes the nature of their gathering holy and life-giving. In Christ, a gathering is infused with supernatural power and has all the latent potential to be used by God as a beachhead for His Kingdom expansion.

First off, for a group to express its holistic organic identity in Christ, it must draw its breath from the life-giving air of the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.

This is what we see the newborn Church doing in Acts 2:42-47. These believers were instinctively acting out of their original design like a newborn baby drawing its first breath and crying out to have its most basic needs fulfilled. In doing so, they manifested what God predestined the Body of Christ to do on earth (Ephesians 3:10-11). The Early Church provides us with a model for holistic, organic community life that can be replicated in small groups.

The Purpose Driven church health model from Saddleback Church (Rick Warren) ...

article Preview

This article is currently available to subscribers only. To continue reading:

free newsletter

Sign up for our free Small Groups Newsletter newsletter: Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles.


Unlock Spiritual Gifts
Help your group members discover and use their spiritual gifts.
Call Out the Spiritual Gifts in Your Group Members
Recognize your group members' gifts in both direct and indirect ways
How Heather Zempel Marries Giftedness and Hard Work
Meet this pastor of discipleship serving in her sweet spot.
Serve in Your Sweet Spot
Lean into your personality, strengths, and gifts.
Help Your Leaders Understand Their Fivefold Gifts
Apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers can all serve in their sweet spot in small groups.
Leverage Work for God's Mission
Help your group members see work through a new lens.