The Aparecida bishops turn their attention to “Small ecclesial communities” for the numbered sections through 310. Think base communities, something more permanent and long-standing than the American phenomenon of small groups.
307. It is evident that in recent years the spirituality of communion has been growing, and that significant efforts using different methodologies have been made to encourage lay people to become involved in small ecclesial communities, which are producing abundant fruits. Small ecclesial communities offer a privileged medium for the New Evangelization and to enable the baptized to live as authentic disciples and missionaries of Christ.
We are talking about the opportunity for discipleship. Some small communities can be set up as temporary groups, more focused on a community experience of self-improvement. But the small group is a place where sharing of faith and peer development can truly take root:
308. They are a favorable setting for hearing the Word of God, for living fraternity, for fostering prayer, for deepening processes of formation in the faith, and for bolstering the demanding commitment of being apostles in society today. They are places of Christian experience and evangelization, which are all the more necessary in the secularized cultural situation hostile to the Church with which we have to deal.
Rather than a place to circle the wagons, a place for strengthening disciples for the mission in the world.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.