Communion in Community Groups

August 29th, 2012 by Tom Boisclair

Having Communion in Groups goes back to the 1st Century (Acts 2:42-46). One could argue that communion is best practiced in a small group because it captures the essence of community through the opportunity of increased intimacy and authenticity. It’s a great chance for you to share with your group what God is doing in your life as you examine your heart the week before taking communion. Read the rest of this entry »

Leading the Bench-Warmers

August 26th, 2012 by Steve Giddens

There are times in group leadership when it feels like we’re having to carry a group member along. We wonder what God is doing in that person’s life. We try to ask questions to lead that person towards discovery. We carve out one-on-one time as a way of communicating that we’re available if needed. When we don’t readily see spiritual movement in someone’s life, it can be tempting to focus most of our energy on group members whose spiritual growth is evident.  Let’s face facts: it’s easier to cheer for someone who’s in the game than for someone who’s content to warm the bench. Read the rest of this entry »

Starter Curriculum Sneak Peek (Week 7)

August 22nd, 2012 by Reggie Sumpter

GroupLink will be here this weekend, which means the launch of Community: Starting Well, our new Community Group starter curriculum.

Here’s a clip from the video for Week 7, with Jeff Henderson encouraging groups to “Be the Church.”

Starter Curriculum Sneak Peek (Week 3)

August 19th, 2012 by Reggie Sumpter

At GroupLink this month, we’ll unveil Community: Starting Well, our new Community Group starter curriculum. We believe it’ll help leaders guide their groups through their first eight weeks together. It’s designed to help groups make the most of that starter period, laying the groundwork for a great one- to two-year group experience.

We can’t wait for you to see it.

Here’s a clip from the video for Week 3, with Clay Scroggins talking about the value of being in community:

Groups Aren’t Perfect

August 12th, 2012 by Steve Giddens

I’ve been a part of small groups for almost 15 years. I’ve had some great experiences and some challenges. Honestly, I don’t leave group every week with a brand new insight about God. I haven’t connected with everyone I’ve been in groups with. In fact, there are some I’ve found it difficult to relate to. And there have been a few nights when I’ve secretly hoped that everyone would cancel so I would have a free evening. My small groups haven’t always been what I wanted them to be. Read the rest of this entry »

Community Group Is Worth It

August 8th, 2012 by Cliff Atfield

With so much on our plates and time at a premium, why is joining a Community Group worth it?

My wife and I have been in group for almost eighteen years—not because we work for our church but because Community Group is where God has worked most often in our lives. I’ve grown closer to Jesus through relationships I’ve had in small groups than anywhere else. Hearing about how other group members have experienced God opens my eyes to things I would never have considered otherwise. The people in our groups have also celebrated our good times and supported us during tough times in more and greater ways than I ever could have imagined.

My wife and I were recently reminded of the power of community and what happens when it’s missing from someone’s life. We were blessed to serve at a Lighthouse Family Retreat in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Lighthouse hosts retreats for families walking though childhood cancer. Over the course of a week, the parents spend time each day in a small group processing how God fits into the picture of what’s happening in their lives. Some of them have never been in a small group and don’t know what to expect when the week begins. During the first day, the room starts out silent. By the end of the week, it’s hard to get anyone’s attention because they’re enjoying each other’s company so much.

On our second day at Lighthouse, we caught a glimpse of the power of community in the life of one man. He hadn’t said two words up to that point, but stopped the group about halfway through the discussion. His child had been undergoing cancer treatment for about eighteen months and he’d never spoken to anyone about it—not a single person. Not even his wife. He hadn’t wanted to talk about it because he thought everything going on in his head was weird. But after hearing everyone else talk, he realized others were experiencing the same thoughts, fears, and emotions he was. This “community” thing he was in the middle of wasn’t so bad; it actually made him feel safe and he wanted it to continue.

The same thing happens in many new groups. Many of our attendees have never experienced community. They have no idea of what to expect. As a church, we believe that in order to grow spiritually, you have to be connected relationally. So, what can you do to help new members of your group feel safe and comfortable?

Theopraxis—An Update

August 5th, 2012 by Reggie Sumpter

Theopraxis is a conversational environment where we equip leaders to better handle common theological questions that come up in Community Groups. We do Theopraxis a few times a year at our churches.

Read the rest of this entry »

Groups Inspire Change

August 1st, 2012 by Reggie Sumpter

Shannon’s small group was there for her as she started her journey with Christ. We love seeing community change people’s lives.

Shannon DeLorenzo- 031812 from NP Baptism on Vimeo.