Our desire is to have only a few core values associated with Community Groups, and to encourage as many of the following to the extent possible.
The primary source of study material for the Community Groups is the Bible. We strongly encourage study, discussion and application of the previous Sunday’s sermon. We learn from what was preached, and most importantly we apply it to our lives. By relying on the Bible and what has been taught, we overcome the cultural desire to “lean on our own understanding”- Proverbs 3:5.
Community Groups pray. They pray for one another, for the church and its leaders, for the lost, and for everything else that comes up in life. Through the practice of prayer we overcome the culture of independence from God, and one another as we share life’s joys and trials together.
In Community Groups, relationships are built so that members can encourage one another to follow Jesus, pray together, share and serve together, and live life together. And in order to do those well we place a high value on enjoying one another’s company. So finding a gathering environment that fosters these types of relationships is very important. Typically this has been found around the dinner table in someone’s home.
First, members of Community Groups encourage one another in some basic disciplines and obedience to basic commands that lead to full joy in Christ (Bible reading, personal prayer, praying with a spouse, serving one another, etc.). Second, through trusting relationships and without coercion, individuals can participate in accountability for areas of sin in the context of small subgroups of the same gender. Both types of accountability are accomplished with grace, in a non-legalistic and non-competitive way. We hold one another accountable to overcome the culture of apathy and to purposely move toward our objective to say “yes” to Christ, no matter what.
Members of Community Groups encourage one another to serve the church generally, in specific ministries and in their areas of spiritual gifting. They also serve as a group to bless someone in need and to build community. We serve others to overcome the culture of selfishness and self-centeredness.
1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” We have been called and commanded to share Christ to the world. At the core of these groups is a desire to see them grow as we reach out to those around us.