A recent article in Newsweek by Andrew Romano states, “…how we dress says a lot about who we want to be, and that ache for authenticity—or, at least, the aura of authenticity—is revealing.” The article itself was written to describe the new fashion trend towards “throwback” clothes like Woolrich that suggest strength and endurance—attributes built to last; to stand the test of time.
Consider the term “aura of authenticity” in this context for a moment. Could it be that after keeping up certain cultural pretenses for so long that we’ve forgotten how to be authentic? This is one of the most important roles our small groups and the small-group movement itself can fill. That is, helping people not only come to know God and grow deeper in their relationship with Him, but also helping them learn—some for the first time—who they are through small-group communities. There is absolutely no reason why a person should settle for an “aura of authenticity” when honest, real authenticity is totally within their grasp. And it doesn’t even matter what they’re wearing.
Given the difficult economic times and what seems like a period of national transition, there will be many looking for something to hold on to; a hint of something that transcends these times. As small-group leaders we have an opportunity here to meet this need with authenticity and the offer of redemptive community.