If we choose to be in circles with those who're different from us, we run into a problem: how do we react when those explosive issues arise? Whether it's abortion, gay marriage, alcohol, gun control or something else, many issues can potentially divide the Church. In Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he advises them on a similarly divisive issue: when faced with division, choose love, not judgment. According to Paul, knowledge puffs us up, but love builds us up.
We live in a world that doesn't know how to disagree well. As a result, we form circles of people who largely agree with us. But our spirituality should connect us with people who aren't like us. If Church is one more place that affirms our divisions, we're doing it wrong.
Though we think of Church primarily as a Sunday, large-group worship experience, we find in the Scriptures that we need to engage in small groups of Jesus-followers. Why? Because large group experiences are largely passive. But true spiritual growth happens when we serve those around us. This is why small group experiences foster a deeper, more profound dimension of growth. In the Church, circles are better than rows.