Most importantly, we need to change not because it is a new idea worth trying out. That being said, sometimes old trees produce strong branches and sometimes they rot, so Frazee must of course stand on his own. My only contention is with the solution that Frazee proposes. The family that is so involved in the daily grind so as to neglect fellowship and community with fellow believers will likely find themselves in a personal and familial solitary confinement. In addressing the difficulty in small groups, Randy points out a particular problem about the individualism found in these small groups.
And the speed of change has been even faster than the ticking of a clock. Frazee's style of writing is engaging, easy to read, and incredibly informative. Frazee characterizes common possessions by interdependency, intergenerational life, children, responsibility, and sacrifice. However, I can honestly say we have never done community together the same way Randy Frazee presents in this updated version of Connecting Church 2. While the children watch television, Mom and Dad are working together to heat up a tray of frozen lasagna and garlic bread.
What Frazee has described here is a senior pastor who is a de facto pontiff over a large hierarchy of de facto bishops. Now on to the most interesting problem in the book. Going beyond small groups and getting people to function together in small, geographic communities would get us closer to the experience of the first century church. Another way to break through the barrier of isolation is to make fellowship with other believers a regular habit, not something you do out of mere rote and repetition, but something you do frequently to develop the habit of being around others. Six campuses provide services for nearly 10,000 people.
It is interesting to me that the mega-church model, when it tries to implement biblical teaching on community, ends up recreating Rome. His thoughts on what it means to be a community are extremely good and very useful, and I have not seen them in any other book. Rather than flitting around the Bible and lighting on various topics, why not preach through various books in the order that God Himself has laid them out? Perhaps we should stretch ourselves out of our comfort zones and give it a try. Therefore, the last chapters of parts 1, 2, and 3 contain completely new material. More and more folks, young and old, rely almost exclusively on the technology of e-mail, texting, Twitter, and Facebook for their relationships — and they will also rely on the new things invented tomorrow. Before we move on to the second path in chapter 16, chapter 15 exposes you to four churches of different sizes and in different places that are successfully implementing a connecting church vision. It will shape the way that you do life together wih those around you.
As a pastor, after reading your book, I feel obligated for Christ's sake and the multitudes of the unconnected to work at community again. He is only more convinced. It's called The Connecting Church 2. The answer then focuses on several key themes. Frazee revisits the topic of community and reflects further on how to implement his suggestions.
Overall, Frazee relays how this model has helped vibrant communal life develop at Pantego Bible Church, and claims perhaps a bit too confidently that the model can work at nearly any other church as well. A decade of trial and error has led to some exciting tweaks on what I presented in the first edition. The third problem is consumerism, that assumes self-dependence, distrust of people, readiness to file lawsuits, lack of social accountability, and unending greed. Randy's challenge for small groups to come together for a common purpose around common beliefs is a great reminder to every church. We've laughed together, cried together, grown in our faith together and done community together through these groups. The ten beliefs are theologically solid as they stand certainly more could be said in each one , and the practices and beliefs are also good fruits that Christians should pursue.
The author should have ended the book at about chapter 9. First, in Common Purpose, Frazee describes how his church uses the Christian Life Profile, those thirty aspects of Christianity I mentioned above, to disciple church members. They attend church just about every Sunday and have been involved in a church-sponsored small group for a little over a year. I also wanted to tell you something that I hope will encourage you, though it may not sound very encouraging right off, so keep reading! Many will be familiar with Pastor Randy Frazee, he is the senior pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio where ministers alongside Max Lucado. Despite the best efforts of pastors, small group leaders and faithful lay persons, church is too often a place of loneliness rather than connection.
Frazee does a really good job at diagnosing the problems inherent in today's institutional churches. Frazee's book helped prepare me to make sacrificial commitments. I appreciate this book for its clarity and practical applications. He is the author of The Heart of The Story, The Connecting Church 2. Following the release of The Connecting Church in 2001, I spent four more spectacular years actually the best at Pantego Bible Church in Fort Worth, where the journey began for us. He wants you to know the truth. I suggest you grab a copy and spend some time reading it carefully.
Our vision for the next ten years is to have twenty full-time zone pastors, one hundred Community Groups, and over five hundred Home Groups. When seeing a neighbor working outside in the yard, taking ten minutes to talk with them is really not hard at all. Frazee addresses the problem of isolation in part two. While these are not exactly new ideas, they are good reminders and good encouragement. I think that Frazee's challenges are good ones.