Between the row, circle, and chair, the piece that has been least emphasized - or even explained - in the various church settings I have been a part of has been relational learning- represented by the circle. There is a challenge that arises when we set out to learn how to be like Christ from our peers. If these are the people who will be actively partnering with us in this great task, how do we choose who to surround ourselves with? From my experience thus far, variety has been a critical component in what has allowed close friends to benefit my life. For example, sometimes it better to have your ideas affirmed - and other times it is better to be challenged. Finding a diverse group of Christians to call upon gives us more meaningful insight and a greater depth of relational learning.
"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." - Proverbs 27:17