In the age of the mega church and big box grocery store, it is very easy to underestimate the power of small. The pressure to grow something numerically is hard to escape. One of the most common questions we receive after a CRUMBS event or SoulCare retreat is, "How did it go? Did you have a good turn out?"
Our hope in keeping CRUMBS gatherings small is built on our priority to facilitate a really great conversation and provide plenty of room for questions to be raised right smack dab in the midst of whatever it is we might be sharing or teaching. As counselors, we know the power of small, intimate face to face encounters. To the degree that we can control it, we will continue to aim at keeping the number of CRUMBS attendees between 12-15 people.
If you are Christian leader, you can find any number of stadium size conferences that target and draw tens of thousands of people to hear from the latest greatest who's who. In our eyes, there is something far more compelling about joining with event attendees as companions not as the resident experts. Sitting among and not above is precisely the heart of what we are after.
One of my great friends, Jason English, launched a gathering like this in Boone, North Carolina called "Black Canvas." I attended Black Canvas earlier this fall and it hailed an intimate crowd of folks from all around the country, even one from Canada. I co-direct a ministry called The SoulCare Project that is wholly dedicated to hosting intentionally small gatherings on retreat. CRUMBS is no different. I guess you could say that our ultimate hope is to curate a healing community among adults who care about teenagers. That can only happen when we sit in such close proximity that we could call everyone in the circle by name and genuinely expect to continue the conversation over coffee or a meal.
Recently I read a fantastic expose in the Huffington Post on a church who has organized itself to wrap around the priority of smallness. Their pastor confesses, "I see the hunger for an experience of intimacy and the sacred reflected in the culture at large. Our renewed interest in the local, the artisanal, the reclaimed, seems to me to be a yearning for a life that takes place at a smaller scale. We want to know the person who made our bread in a bakery, not a sprawling, steely factory in some distant, nameless place. We want to know the smell of the earth where our vegetables came from. We want to make things from scratch. In short, we want to know ourselves and one another."
If you have a desire to bring CRUMBS your way, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.