Each small group is self governing and might meet in homes (ideally), offices, parks, or change locations, perhaps on a rotating basis. Each gathering decides how often it wants to meet. However, we recommend at least monthly (weekly is the ideal). If a gathering is held in homes, the hosts do not necessarily need to be the facilitators. The gatherings can develop their own projects, and/or coordinate resources and planning with other gatherings.
Gatherings are interdependent, helping to nourish other gatherings and drawing upon other gatherings for their own nourishment.
There are many ways for a gathering to be connected to other gatherings. A gathering might have at least one person meet with another gathering in an area in order to answer the reciprocal question, “How are they doin’?”, during Check-in. Each small group creates their own stories as they meet! And, of course, there is social media while it lasts, although it is not a sufficient substitute for face-to-face interaction.
Several gatherings might combine efforts to produce a local neighborhood newsletter or other projects and events. Network hubs might be formed through churches or other organizations but there is also a danger that the gathering will be co-opted by those organizations.
Excessive rules and structure can kill community!!
An excess of written rules, “by-laws”, Constitutions, Covenants, etc., are evidence of a lack of, or become a substitute for, dialogical relationships. What works to nurture the spirit of community today may not work tomorrow. What works here may not work there. An organic organization is dynamic and open to unpredictable changes. A mechanistic organization, on the other hand, attempts to control input and output. A machine is efficient and controlled, but it is also dead!
“Where there is Spirit, there is freedom.”