The Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL has an annual weekly attendance of 24,000 people. It’s what is referred to as a “mega church.”
I remember details about this church opaquely from a history of modern Christianity class. It’s the organizational model they created I remember most.
Obviously 24,000 people don’t smoothly pull together into a tightly knit community, so the church creates small groups of people, hundreds of these small groups, around shared interests and age. The small groups are what keep things from unraveling at the seams.
The model of the small group is broadly used. I am fortunate enough to be a part of someone’s small group. Hesitant to commit to reading and discussing a book, a group of us art administrators participate in an article club.
Every five or six weeks, the small group of us get together for lunch to discuss an article that’s creating a splash in the arts world that we wouldn’t otherwise take the time to read in detail.
Because of this group, I get to read great articles like Fusing Arts, Culture and Social Change and Irvine’s report on participatory arts and audience involvement.
This version of a small group provides a busy group of colleagues a chance to catch up with what are our peers are doing, and to talk about how changes in the field can impact our own work. Read the rest of this entry »