What to Expect in Community Groups
God has called us into relationship with Himself and into relationship with the community of Christ followers. We believe it is the responsibility of every christian to cultivate spiritual growth, connect deeply with brothers and sisters in the faith as we bear one-another’s burdens, and carry the good news of Jesus to all we come in contact with as we join God on mission. We accomplish this through our weekly community group gatherings.
WHAT IS A COMMUNITY GROUP?
HOW OFTEN DO THEY MEET?
We encourage community groups to develop what we call “rhythms,” which are simply ways that their lives intersect during a typical week. Community groups start with 3 basic rhythms that enable them to do life and be on mission together:
- Cultivate Together- Community groups attend Gatherings together to worship and learn. Sometimes they may sit together, serve together, or eat together before or after.
- Connect Together- Community groups spend intentional time together each week focused on growing spiritually. This group meeting time typically happens at someone’s home and is what most people think of when they picture a community group or Bible study, but it is only one component of being church family together.
- Carry Together- Community groups also spend time together in social situations. The purpose for this is to get to know one another better, while also providing an easy avenue to invite other people into. Some groups may become regulars at a restaurant or coffee shop, while others may go to the park or host a game night. The key is to have a nonthreatening environment where you can hang out and be on mission together.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING GROUP TIME?
Group time is focused on intentional training to push each other toward Jesus. A typical group time will involve:
- Catch up on life: “How has Jesus been at work in your life?”
- Pray for oneanother and review the mission.
- Discuss the scriptures using the 7 Arrows of Bible reading.
- Engage the heart through confession and prayer with others.
WHAT ARE RHYTHMS?
Rhythms are intentional ways to do life with your group in a given week or month. Rhythms are where we intentionally do things together with regularity and gospel intentionality. They are the practical way we are going to be involved in each other’s lives. We encourage both intentional rhythms (planned and established) and impromptu rhythms (unplanned but always looking for ways to do things together).People in groups doing everyday, ordinary life together is the means for growing people up in Jesus and also for inviting new people into our family and a relationship with Jesus. Rhythms give us a visible community to invite others into, and also the means to truly know one another and grow together as we learn how the gospel of Jesus impacts all of life.
HOW LONG DO GROUPS LAST?
There is no set end date for groups, but groups should never stay the same. Community groups always have a purpose—to pursue the mission of God together. The mission of God is to make disciples, to help people (no matter where they are) take the next steps toward Jesus. This means two things (1) groups are always inviting new people into their group to experience community and see the gospel on display and (2) groups are always developing new leaders and trying to launch new groups.
WHAT IS A HEALTHY GROUP?
A healthy community group:
- speaks the gospel to one another,
- lives everyday, ordinary life together
- is actively pursuing the mission of God together.