What are Community Groups?
Gospel-centered community is the primary means by which we make disciples. At CrossLife, Community Groups are the main avenue for us to flesh this community out and live God’s Word together.
How important are they?
They are what we do – meaning, they are primary to our care of the people for whom our leaders will give account. Therefore, we expect EVERYONE that is part of CrossLife to be in a Community Group.
What do the groups do?
Since our groups are central to our vision and purpose, we believe that life happens through our groups. Therefore, our groups meet every week for care, accountability, mission, encouragement, life events, and fun.
What is the nature of meetings?
Generally speaking, our people do not need more Bible teaching. What we need is to live the teaching we already receive. Therefore, Community Groups should not primarily be another Bible study. The structure of meetings should not always be formal and instructional. People should show up and be themselves – everything is possible to occur during group meeting. We are committed to flexible intentionality.
Some general recommendations for group meetings would include: applying the Sunday sermon, seeking missional opportunities, serving someone in need, applying CLC’s essentials, a bbq at someone’s house, spending an evening in prayer for someone walking through intense need, addressing an issue or conflict in group, visiting a suffering group member in their home or hospital, a book study that would benefit the group or the mission. There are many more – the sky is the limit!
The point is: Care flows through these groups as we live life together.
Will we live the mission in Community Groups?
The most natural place to become part of the community is in community. Gospel-centered evangelism is most effective when viewed as three strands of a strong rope. Those three strands are: building relationships, sharing the gospel, and introducing people to community. God, in his sovereignty, uses evangelism when one or two strands of the rope is mission, but it is strongest when all three are present.
A great place to introduce people to the body of Christ is through community groups. We should expect that unbelievers will be present and therefore our speech will be shaped by that knowledge. Leaders will help us avoid speaking in “Christian code”. We will expect that people will cuss and smoke on the front porch. People should also be encouraged to join groups in their neighborhood areas. This cannot be a hard and fast rule, but may help further a sense of small communities (natural connections) both for the lost and the group identity and mission.
What about children?
If we are living life in these groups, then it will very natural for children to participate in many of our meetings. However, there are times that will benefit the group if children were absent. Each group leader should sensitively lead in this area to know how best to serve his group.
Our elders believe we should intentionally express the value and purpose of these groups by putting our money where our mouth is. Therefore, the church provides a small stipend per month available to each group to help pay for childcare when needed.