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Research Confirms It: The Vitality of Authentic Community

Donald Miller begins his blog today by saying, “So, according to researchers, if you want to be healthy you have to be in an environment where you are accepted and are free to have flaws.” This isn’t news to me. I’ve thrown my life into this belief. We need authentic connections to be wholehearted people. So why do so many people–people in church ministry, small group leaders, and lots of others, live life outside this kind of environment? I believe there is a one-word answer: control.

We each have a choice: to be in control of our lives (and, so it follows, everyone else’s lives as well) or to be trusting and vulnerable. The most dynamic relationships, groups, churches, and other organizations are built on those two virtues.

In the clip below, Brene Brown gave a very compelling TED talk about this topic, telling her own story of personal transformation in this area. If you lead a small group or are involved in ministry, invest about 20 minutes to watch this video. I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts!

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Michael C. Mack founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and served as a small-groups minister for more than 20 years in several churches. He is a writer, editor, trainer, and consultant in the areas of small groups, leadership, and discipleship. He is the author of more than 25 books and small group studies, including his latest, World's Greatest Small Group (pub. January, 2017). He regularly blogs on his ministry website at SmallGroupLeadership.com. His family is a small group that includes his wife Heidi, their four children, and their dog, Lainey. Mike is also an avid mountain biker.