God is calling together little communities of the heart, to fight for one another and for the hearts of those who have not yet been set free. That commeraderie, that intimacy, that incredible impact by a few stouthearted souls – that is available. It is the Christian life as Jesus gave it to us. It is completely normal.

– John Eldredge (Waking The Dead ,193, 203 )

“Little communities of the heart” is one reason some believers give for departing the IC.  There aren’t any.  Not saying’ that small groups don’t exist in the IC.  They do.  In fact, “small groups” is becoming the latest and greatest in church programming these days.  But a brief encounter with a few relative strangers for a few weeks is not the same as a “community of the heart.”

As John points out:

For the most part, they are disappointing and short-lived – by the very admission of those who try them. There are two reasons. One, you can’t just throw a random group of people together for a twelve week study of some kind, and expect them to become intimate allies. The sort of devotion we want and need takes place within a shared life. Over the years our fellowship goes camping together. We play together; help one another move; paint a room; find work. We throw great parties. We fight for each other… This is how it was meant to be.

How is your “community of the heart?”  Where do you look?  With whom do you link up?  Who fights for you?  Whom do you fight for?