The Connecting Church: Beyond Small Groups to Authentic Community  -     By: Randy Frazee
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The Connecting Church: Beyond Small Groups to Authentic Community

Zondervan / 2000 / Paperback

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Product Description

I once heard a pastor say that while "community is the one thing contemporary people want, it is also the thing they are least prepared to receive." He went on to discuss how: individualism has divided our communities, ambition has taught us to value competition over cooperation and our schedules leave little time to invest in the lives of our loved ones andthe common life of our communities. Randy Frazee'sThe Connecting Church identifies and develops many of the same themes, which were explored in that intriguing sermon. In The Connecting Church Frazee paints a beautiful portrait of biblical community and talks about the sacrifices we will have to make in order to experience life together. If you are ready to move beyond small groups and develop authentic community this book is required reading.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2000
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0310233089
ISBN-13: 9780310233084
UPC: 025986233082
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

The development of meaningful relationships, where every member carries a significant sense of belonging, is central to what it means to be the church. So why do many Christians feel disappointed and disillusioned with their efforts to experience authentic community? Despite the best efforts of pastors, small group leaders, and faithful lay persons, church too often is a place of loneliness rather than connection. Church can be so much better. So intimate and alive. The Connecting Church tells you how. The answer may seem radical today, but it was a central component of life in the early church. First-century Christians knew what it meant to live in vital community with one another, relating with a depth and commitment that made 'the body of Christ' a perfect metaphor for the church. What would it take to reclaim that kind of love, joy, support, and dynamic spiritual growth? Read this book and find out.

Author Bio

Randy Frazee is the senior minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he teaches and leads in partnership with pastor and author Max Lucado. Prior to Oak Hills, Randy served as teaching pastor at Willow Creek and as senior pastor at Pantego Bible Church in Fort Worth, Texas, for fifteen years. He is also the author of Making Room for Life and The Christian Life Profile Assessment Tool. Frazee and his wife, Rozanne, have four children and one granddaughter. SPANISH BIO: Randy Frazee es ministro principal de la iglesia Oak Hills de San Antonio, Texas. Es author de The Connecting Church, Making Room for Life, The Christian Life Profile, y Renovation of the Heart Student Edition. Es graduado del Dallas Theological Seminary. Frazee y su esposa, Rozanne, tienen cuatro hijos.

Publisher's Weekly

Pastor and consultant Frazee begins with a problem that many church leaders admit only hesitantly: small groups, widely hailed as a means to achieve authentic community, often fail to achieve the hoped-for experience of "life together." This book follows the story of Frazee's congregation, Pantego Bible Church in suburban Dallas/Ft. Worth, in its efforts to "take [the small group movement] to the next level." Frazee's proposal is no quick fix; it belies megachurch stereotypes by taking a countercultural stand against the individualism and consumerism that Frazee says plague contemporary American life. Drawing on biblical models as well as sociological research and urban planning principles, Frazee makes a strong case that the mobility and privacy of "American Dream" suburbia fosters a spirit of fragmentation and isolation that is unworkable as a basis for authentic community. Frazee recommends "consolidating relationships," opting out of multiple activities and superficial social circles in favor of "a circle of relationships that produces a sense of genuine belonging." Small groups emerge as a necessary but insufficient ingredient for attaining Frazee's vision of "biblical community." The author's fondness for lists and systematization make for a dense read at times, but the human insights and real-life examples that really drive the book have a powerful appeal. Given the popularity of small group spirituality, and its potential discontents, this book should find a wide audience. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Reviews

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  1. Iowa
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    Contains some good features but is dangerous
    September 22, 2011
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 2
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Although this book has some redeeming factors as a person who experienced abuse from a church that used small groups extensively I can tell you there are many pit falls. Inexperience of group leaders, lack of biblical knowledge of the leaders combined with many people giving their opinion of what the Bible passage says combine to perpetuate wrong doctrine and many errors in practice.

    Many churches who use the small group model do so at the expense of the unity of the church as a whole. Most people only know the people in their small little group and because of this it limits what many of the churches do. Many rely on the small groups for letting financial and prayer needs known and those whose lives are too busy for meeting at that particular time never have their needs met.

    Instead of fracturing our churches into small groups and having such mega churches we would be better off with the smaller community church model that was present more than 100 years ago. The community was more than just a few blocks big and there was a fellowship of the entire body of believers in the church rather than small disconnected pods.

    This type of "community" with its written and unwritten social expectations has left a wake of hurting and devastation and I am one of them. My experience with this type of over controlling mindset meaded out through smaller groups under a central leadership happened in the mid 1980's. There is now another church in our area using the same tactics that is doing the same thing including children in their teens not to mention numerous college aged students who are filling up the offices of the already over worked therapists.

    Please re-consider using these strategies in your church. Although there is a place for smaller groups within a larger church using this model as is proposed in this book is very dangerous.
  2. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    March 1, 2009
    Celina Lloyd
    WE are reading this as part of a church planting group and so far we have only finished the 4th chapter but it is a great book. It gets to the heart of what is going on in most churches and communities and with that gets to the Word of how to get back!!! Great book!
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 23, 2008
    Don Rousu
    My evaluation of this book is a little over the top for some. After having been in pastoral ministry for over 40 years, I think this is one of the most important books that has been written for the church in the last 50 years! With incisive clarity, Frazee identifies the two forces that drive our North American culture: individualism and consumerism. These forces militate against true biblical community which is, by way of contrast, radically corporate and sacrificial. He then identifies three important marks of authentic biblical community: A common purpose, a common place, and common possessions. The goal is clear, and it will take nothing less than death and resurrection to get there! This has incredible implications for the missional church conversation, because this quality of love will woo the world to Jesus.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    April 16, 2005
    Scott Cheatham
    Frazee writes on a subject many in the church are struggling with; the need to belong. In The Connecting Church, you are given the story of how Patego Bible Church in Texas made the switch from what many would call traditional small group ministry to an intergenerational ministry built on local neighborhoods. It's a great concept and I can't wait to visit his church soon to see just how this plays out in Frazee's home church.I've long felt that we are too segregated in our own churches and that this leads to many of the conflicts we see. The "intergenerational" approach Frazee takes is one I think is right and practical.I've ordered his Christian Life Assessment tool to use in my own church. The tool is based on the principles in this book.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    October 17, 2001
    steve gunter
    I believe this can be the answer to the rat race society that we find ourselves in . This also answers alot of questions that I wanted to know about why small groups never really achieve total true intimacy.
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