The Importance of Community Groups in Church Growth
Pastor Dave and I are convinced that in the next year, one of the primary steps to growing Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church is the development of small, intimate, “Community Groups.” What exactly do we have in mind here?
A Community Group is defined as:
a. Two or more people...
b. that meet regularly...
c. to glorify God.
If you are in the choir, handbells, a men's or women's Bible study, an accountability group, a prayer group, or other smaller fellowship, you are already in a Community Group!
So, why this new emphasis on smaller groups? Here are ten reasons why we believe it is Biblical, appropriate, and necessary for believers to meet in such small groups in addition to our large-group worship services...
1) A Community Group nurtures true, authentic, Christian friendships.
2) When people are connnected relationally, they are more likely to commity to the larger body.
3) Community Groups provide a context for deeper, more personal sharing.
4) Community Groups can often go deeper than the sermon or lecuture by their ability to discuss, probe, and review Scripture line by line.
5) Every believer must have people to whom they can confess their struggles and from whom they seek support.
6) Community Groups are modeled after the ministry of Jesus Christ who spent the bulk of His ministry discipling 12 men. Among those men He spent particular time with Peter, James, and John.
7) Community Groups afford believers the opportunity to gather around a common interest (prayer, book study, or life-situation such as age, gender, widowhood, parenthood etc.)
8) When Community Groups meet in homes (as opposed to the Church building) a greater intimacy and informality is possible.
9) Believers are enabled to better pray for others and to be prayed for themselves.
10) Community Groups resist the isolationist tendancies of an increasingly self-centered culture.
For these reasons, the leadership of Faith Church is challenging the congregation to form ten new in-home Bible studies by the end of this year! If God is leading you to start a Community Group in your home, please follow the three steps below:
First, contact Pastor Dave; he will serve as our Community Groups coordinator.
Secondly, select a topic, book, or curriculum. We have available DVD series, group studies, and other ideas to help you get started. Your group can be as easy as popping in a teaching video and simply discussing the content, or as simple as reading the Scriptures line by line together with others and then taking prayer requests.
Finally, Faith Church will help you to promote your group, cooridinate meeting times, and advertise your group if necessary.
Yours in Christ,
I'm so happy that our pastors have taken the initiative to organize and communicate the importance of community groups! Can't wait to see how many new groups pop up this year at Faith Church.