Modified from Eddie Mosley’s blog Connecting In Community (eddiemosley.com)
“Leading a small (community) group is more like gardening than being a mechanic” Greg Bowman
The Bridge has five objectives for our Community Groups: Family, Encouragement, Scripture, Prayer and Next Steps.
It will start as laid back time for group members to get to know each other, but the goal is to become like family.
Party monthly: Each group should have a social activity where people can just be real.
Serve together: How fast can you rally your group to serve someone outside the group? Build an atmosphere of “serving is normal” so that it is not a scheduled event but a lifestyle/’group-style.’ Nothing unites a group or builds community/family like a common project or common enemy.
Leave time after the meeting for chat time! Community/family is built through conversations, not lectures.
ENCOURAGE YOUR PEOPLE
We want Community Groups to be a place where we build up, cheer on, and love on others. Care and encouragement builds relationships. Relationships increase transparency. Transparency makes way for discipleship.
If you are leading a Community Group, it probably has a lot to do with God directing you to lead, shepherd, care and disciple people. One way we see spiritual growth happening is via “Relationships and Conversations” You disciple people because you care about them. To care for people means listening, spending time with, serving together and praying for and with them.
How are you doing on these? With whom in your group do you have none of these?
This is what differentiates your Community Group from a neighborhood supper club. Whether it’s through activities or discussion, always find a way to include the Word of God. This can be as simple as using the provided curriculum, sharing something God is teaching you, or talking about a verse you read that week.
A. Study the Bible for yourself, but not just by yourself
B. Never engage the text without encountering the author in prayer
C. Read the Bible for transformation, not just information.
PRAY FOR/WITH EACH OTHER
Ask for prayer requests from group members and pray at the beginning and/or the end of each group meeting. Build relationships where you are praying for and with the people in your group.
HELP GROUP MEMBERS TAKE THE NEXT STEPS
Everyone in your group will be at different places spiritually. The vision of helping them “move one step” is not to get them to do everything at once, it’s to help identify where they currently are spiritually and offer a practical next step to help them grow.
Here is a guide of some next steps you can help people take:
• Start attending Sunday Worship Gatherings
• Start reading the Bible regularly
• Start praying regularly
• Be water baptized
• Complete The Bridge Growth Track
• Join a Ministry Team
• Start tithing
• Invite a friend or neighbor to church or a Community Group
• Attend New Leadership Training to become a Community Group Leader
If your Community Group builds relationships, encourages one another, studies scripture at least twice a month, parties once and does something missional every quarter, you will have a VERY successful Community Group!