First Post - How to Find Small Group Nearby


(Mark W. Ingalls) #1

Hello-

I’ve been lurking/reading off and on for a few years. Recent events have nudged me toward fellowship again. Is there a way I haven’t noticed to connect with other BioLogos-minded folks living near me?

I am in Northwest Arkansas.

Thanks,

Mark


(Christy Hemphill) #2

Hi Mark, glad you came out of the shadows so we could officially welcome you. :relaxed:

There aren’t really local BioLogos chapters or anything. You could keep an eye on BioLogos events and ASA events to see if any are happening near your area. Or keep an eye on local Christian colleges or seminaries or mega-churches to see if there are lectures or conferences where you might meet like-minded folks.

I would think the chances of there being some kind of group already in existence are kind of small. But what’s to stop you from trying to start one? You could pull together a book club or a group that watches lectures or videos and then discusses them. (People here could probably offer some ideas about resources that would be good for this kind of thing, so ask away if you’re interested.) Does your area have an interdenominational network of some kind where people can advertise upcoming events? It might be hard to find enough interested people in a single congregation, but if you can make an opportunity available to a wider pool, you might find some takers. Or maybe there is a way to recruit/advertise through a neutral space like a public library or community center? You could start with a one-off thing that doesn’t require an on-going commitment, like watching a debate or listening to a speaker and gauge interest in an on-going small group from there.

As someone who has done a fair amount of organizing and recruiting for church-based events, I have noticed that people are pretty lame these days, and everyone is busy and over-committed. If you want people to invest (or even show up in some cases), the best way to make that happen is to really emphasize the relational end of things. People are way more likely to come to something if they have been personally invited by someone they already know and given a role of some kind. That makes it difficult when you are trying to get something started from scratch and the whole point is to meet new people, but a lot of times the best place to start is with the relationships and networks you already have.

Worst case scenario, you could make do with the virtual community here on this forum. You can private message users (individually or in groups) if you would like to have a less public conversation. Click on my avatar and message me if you need help figuring out how to use the forum software to do something in particular.

Glad you joined the conversation, and I hope you are able to find some real life support.


(Christy Hemphill) #3

Here is a link to our small group resource page, in case you haven’t already checked it out. http://biologos.org/resources/small-groups/

The books (Language of God, Origins, and Lost World of Genesis One) have accompanying blog series discussions as well as schedules and discussion questions for small group leaders.


(Mark W. Ingalls) #4

Dear Christ-y,

Thanks for the two remarkably different (yet complimentary) replies. :smiley:

For me, fellowship and outreach are far more difficult than reconciling faith with science.

Pray!

M.


(Jay Johnson) #5

Welcome, Mark. Are you looking for a church home that would be tolerant (if not supportive) of your beliefs on creation/evolution, or are you looking for a group (parachurch or similar) that meets to discuss such things?


(Mark W. Ingalls) #6

Yes, Jay- either one or both.

It doesn’t bother so much to hear of talking snakes, knowledge-bearing fruit trees and so on; I just don’t need that stuff as catechism.

Here’s the deal: I use my relationship with God to interpret the Bible. It can be discomfitting to be around folks who use their interpretation of the Bible to proscribe our relationship with God