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Disruptions of Community – Why Differences Destroy Some Small Groups

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Here in America politics has caused disruption between and within communities. It reminds us that differences in opinions can grow into disruptions of community. Small Group Network’s international membership is likely not experiencing this in the same way. But we are all familiar with the lurking questions that create dissonance.

Disruptions of Community

The dynamic of divisiveness is universal. New Testament writers frequently address disagreeing groups and coach them to right relationship. Rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, groups that disagree on specific teachings. They are all encouraged and equipped to handle these situations.

Differences of opinion, especially heated or hostile differences, cause divide. It might be temporary, but there is always a risk that it intensifies. Sometimes it grows deep and wide enough that it cuts off relationship and communication. Divides can break up friendships and marriages. They can also lead to a Christian community’s splintering.

What causes a difference of opinion to grow into a disruption of community?

What Causes Disruptions of Community?

There are several factors that lead opposing points of view to disrupt relationship. Help your leaders monitor these influences whenever possible.

It’s personal: Disagreeing about a theoretical idea is easier than a personal concern. Imagine a small group of singles navigating the Bible’s stance on divorce. Now imagine a divorce recovery group reading these same passages. For the first group it is theoretical. The odds of it disrupting their community are low. For the second group it is deeply personal. Differing opinions can translate into accidental attacks if the group is not careful. Caution, sensitivity, and grace must abound.