We are rooted in the gospel
We need others to help us apply the truth about the Gospel to our daily lives. The implications of our life with Christ are broad, so broad that we rarely understand them by ourselves. As we remind one another about grace, we help each other open our lives to transformation according to God’s purposes. So Community Groups are essential in order to root our lives in the Gospel.
We do life together
We are told in Scripture to encourage, serve, rejoice, weep with, correct, instruct, sing to, build up, accept and love one another. These commands are best followed in personal relationships. Community Groups offer quality nurture and care to every member of the church. In an effective way people are personally cared for and shepherded, new members are connected to the body, and lives are discipled, transformed and built up.
We learn to use our gifts
Community Groups are a place where spiritual gifts, including a vision for ministry and service, are discovered and developed. Group participants are encouraged not to merely consume, but rather to invest themselves in relationships with group members, supporting each other in Christ. Thus by using our gifts we are renewed in the gospel
We reach out to others
Community Groups are a place where people who are considering Christianity can discover who Jesus Christ is, in an environment of nurture and love. Christianity is seen as not merely doctrine, but a life-changing encounter with our risen Lord. The Community Group is a personal way of touching people in the community and giving them a place to come and find Christ and experience his love.
So what Happens in a Community Group? The most important goal is to experience Jesus Christ so that lives are transformed by the Gospel. People should see regular changes in their life as they draw closer to Christ and are remade in his image. Community Groups contain the following elements:
The group listens to God’s Word and applies the Gospel to everyday life. The goal is not mere knowledge of Scripture, but to yield to its transforming power. We will do this by seeking to apply the gospel lesson from the Sunday sermon in an interactive study.
Fellowship with one another means to share with one another what we are learning about God and how he is working in our lives. It also means genuine concern for each other’s overall well being. This involves bearing one another’s emotional and physical burdens along with holding each other accountable for spiritual growth.
The first part of outreach involves kingdom-centered prayer. Prayer is the means that God uses to change us and the world. Groups pray for one another and for God’s kingdom advancement. A mission to reach others is an overflow of the Gospel. Groups serve the world by sharing the Good News of Christ in word and deed.