Typically, we think “strength in numbers”, “bigger is better”, “the more, the merrier” BUT…studies show the larger a group, the less productive it becomes. In one study, researchers found what they called, the Social Loafing Effect. One experiment, participants wore blindfolds and noise-cancelling headphones and were asked to shout as loud as they could. Without exception, everyone made less noise in groups compared to when they shouted alone. Their conclusion: the mere perception that you’re in a group reduces one’s motivation and effort.
Researchers explained how Social Loafing is a feedback problem. It means when groups get larger, you experience less social pressure and feel less responsibility because your performance becomes difficult, even impossible, measure within a crowd.
Jesus invites each of us into a personal faith AND a group participation within the church. The danger of groups, though, is getting lost in crowd where serving is limited, gifts minimized, commitment lowered, and depth of experience missed...all of which can bringing change from the inside out.
At Mission Hills, we define the Rhythm of Renewal as a growing awareness of God’s presence. Despite the pace and demands of life, Renewal seeks to be sensitive to the Spirit prompting us to turn away (ie resentment, addiction, anger, etc) &/or turn towards (compassion, gratitude, hospitality, etc). This week’s Friday Lent Initiative, “TGI…not my will” offers room to God’s Spirit to guide us in thought, word, and deed. Pick (at least) one and make a plan because a living faith leads to new life. Easter’s coming!