1. I was thinking about small group leaders at St Paul’s, and the training thereof. I was thinking about a way of providing stimulation for their faith, a deepening and shaping that was a bit different to the sort of course that teaches small group leading skills 101.
2. I had been part of a brief experiment with an online bookclub at my previous church, which used a discussion forum format. It sort of worked, but ran out of energy after a while. It was a good idea though (not mine – thanks Roger). The advent of Facebook, with a free, powerful interface, that many, many peoples eemed to have signed up for and check regularly made it an attractive option to try and utilise.
3. I attended a conference last year at which Don Carson was speaking. He was talking about the Gospel Coaltion. One of the things they were aiming to do was share resources. He gave the example of Mark Dever, who runs a reading group at his church that works through only Christian classics throughout a year. I though that was a great idea, to try to get Christians into reading great classic books that form part of their heritage.
4. I have several friends who are part of other bookclubs. They always rave about the group gatherings where they discuss the book, and the friendships that have formed out of those. It made me think that only online interaction leaves something lacking. After all, the Christian life is about relationships, and relatioships form through face to face contact. Also, the exercise of reading, thinking about arguments, and articulating opinions to others is great training in patience and godliness (and it doesn’t hurt small group leading either 😉 )