You should join a community group because ________.
That is very important blank. How you fill it in will have a profound effect on the health of your community group ministry. You can do a lot of things right and still be torpedoed by that question.
If you are not convinced the question of why is that important, tell your wife that you’re planning a date night because Mark Driscollsays it’s a good idea. While she may appreciate the insight of Pastor Mark I would venture that she would be more moved if your motivation were her beauty and your desire for her company.
The answers to the why in community are similarly not all equal.
Good Fruit ≠ Purpose
Growth, retention, belonging, and health are important byproducts of community, but they are just that: byproducts. We cannot take good fruit of healthy, gospel-saturated community and make it the purpose.
“Apart from Jesus’ death and resurrection, community is not possible.
Our foundational reason for why we have community groups in our church is to image God and proclaim the good news of what Jesus has accomplished on the cross.
- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. –
The Ministry of Reconciliation
We have been reconciled to God and one another for the purpose of making an appeal to the world to be likewise reconciled. As image bearers of God we were created for community. What sin has broken, Jesus has reconciled. Apart from Jesus’ death and resurrection, community is not possible. The existence of a loving, gospel-saturated community is a testimony to the truth of the gospel.
In a broken world that intrinsically longs for authentic community, this is a profoundly different motivation. People aren’t interested in church growth. They are desperate for hope. They can find belonging in a pub, but they need a community transformed by the love of Jesus. We have exactly what they need when we root our groups in what Jesus has accomplished.
“Our foundational reason for why we have community groups in our church is to image God and proclaim the good news of what Jesus has accomplished on the cross.
The Why Before the How
If you want to inspire people to be a part of community help them see the bigger purpose. Show your church how to image God in community and help your leaders understand that they are an integral part of the advancement of the gospel.
As for those byproducts, when we get the foundation of community groups rooted in Christ, we can trust there will be fruit that is good and glorifying to God.
So before you ask how to do healthy community groups, make sure you know why.
Pastor Brad House has written a book all about this calledCommunity, and it’s one of our newest Re:lit books we’ll be releasing at the end of the month. Find out more ab