John Fea links to this amusing video.
The mocking of small groups aside — and remember that we have pietists to thank for this odd form of Christian piety — I do wonder what would happen to the dynamics of a group like this if you introduced a Presbyterian elder (not to be confused the the Mormon variety) into the mix. To help answer that question, here’s how the OPC’s Form of Government describes the work of an elder:
1. Christ who has instituted government in his church has furnished some men, beside the ministers of the Word, with gifts for government, and with commission to execute the same when called thereto. Such officers, chosen by the people from among their number, are to join with the ministers in the government of the church, and are properly called ruling elders.
2. Those who fill this office should be sound in the faith and of exemplary Christian life, men of wisdom and discretion, worthy of the esteem of the congregation as spiritual fathers.
3. Ruling elders, individually and jointly with the pastor in the session, are to lead the church in the service of Christ. They are to watch diligently over the people committed to their charge to prevent corruption of doctrine or morals. Evils which they cannot correct by private admonition they should bring to the notice of the session. They should visit the people, especially the sick, instruct the ignorant, comfort the mourning, and nourish and guard the children of the covenant. They should pray with and for the people. They should have particular concern for the doctrine and conduct of the minister of the Word and help him in his labors.
The least that can be said is that an elder should be expected to refer to small group attendees as other than “dude” or “dudette.”