Could it be that the problem facing the church is much larger and more significant than has typically been realized? Maybe the simplest way to put it is that we are all addicts. Some of us are addicted to drugs and alcohol. Some of us are addicted to pornography. Some of us are addicted to controlling others to get our needs met. Some of us are addicted to gossip, or lying, or television, or social media, or being right, or achieving. The list could go on.
Most of us are probably addicted to multiple things. Our common trait is that we are all addicted to the ways of sin and death. We are addicted to a false gospel of sin management (managing death) instead of connecting with life.
The idea that you are an addict may initially be off-putting, even offensive. It is not our purpose to offend you. Can you think of someone you know who would describe themselves as an addict or who is in recovery? If so, think about what you know of their story. One common thread for addicts is the crucial step of recognizing that they are powerless over something, whatever it is. Coming to grips with that reality is essential to moving forward toward healing.
The band meeting, a proven discipleship model for growing in love through the accountability of small, same-gender groups, was one of the defining characteristics of the Methodist movement started by John Wesley in the mid-1700s. In reflection on Wesley’s class meeting and band meeting structure, George Whitfield once said, “My Brother Wesley acted wisely, the souls that were awakened under his ministry he joined in class, and thus preserved the fruits of his labor. This I neglected, and my people are a rope of sand.”
In The Band Meeting, Kevin Watson and Scott Kisker give an overview of the richness of this early tradition and introduce a practical approach for growing toward an authentic, transformation-oriented small group experience.