A Community Life Group is about knowing, being known, and making known. What does that mean?
Knowing: Being a part of a Community Life Group gives you a unique opportunity to get to know others in the church in a deeper way. In this small group setting, you’ll be able to deepen relationships far beyond what is possible at a Sunday morning meeting.
Being known: The best Community Life Groups involve developing a lasting trust with each other. This will take time, but it is an important aspect of allowing yourself to be known in your group. It’s also important to open yourselves to new members and work at developing trust with them. When you are known, your group can motivate, encourage, challenge, and pray for you more effectively.
Making known: God is on mission here on earth to make himself known to his creation. As believers we are called to join him on that mission. Being a part of a group means that you can enter mission with partners. Each group is encouraged always to be looking to the community and developing intentional practices aimed at making Christ known there in word and deed. Pastor Kelby is always available to brainstorm ideas with you!
Community Life Groups exist for the intentional growing of community both inside and outside of our church family. In Community Life Groups, we seek to strengthen our relationships within our church and deepen connections with our surrounding community and neighbours. To be a part of a community is to be a part of something beyond yourself. Joining a Community Life Group for intentional study of Scripture and prayer can be a significant avenue for growth in faith.
1. What is a Community Life Group?
Community Life Groups are the small group ministry of SMBC. We choose not to call them small groups because that term defines the size of the group and nothing else. Community and Life are terms with more significance and meaning. Community naturally conveys a sense of connectedness and relationships. Using such a term draws us into something larger than ourselves. Community Life Groups draw attention to the need for more connections within our church body as well as with our community at large. In Community Life Groups, we seek to do life together, walking with each other through celebrations, joys, challenges and sadness. In a Community Life Group, you’ll find strong, reliable friendships. You’ll find a place to laugh together, rejoice together, cry with and support one another.
2. How do I join a Community Life Group?
The best way to get connected to a Community Life Group is to contact Pastor Kelby.
3. What does a typical evening look like?
Since each group is unique, no two groups do the same things in the same order when they meet. In general groups will gather, chat casually for a while, and then begin a study or listen to a reflection or meditation. Some groups read a book together or watch DVD studies available in the library. Others discuss a passage of Scripture. Groups may spend time praying about what God might want to teach them and also pray for each other. Most groups will also enjoy eating together. Snacks and a warm cup of coffee have a unique way of drawing people together!
4. Who do I contact with questions?
Pastor Kelby will be able to answer just about any question you have about Community Life Groups. He would love to sit down with you! You may also want to find someone else who is involved in a group and ask about their experiences.
5. Why is it important to be in a Community Life Group?
While no one is required to join a Community Life Group, by not joining you will miss out on a key component of community at SMBC. Joining a Community Life Group will help you feel more connected to our community. It allows you to get to know a few people on a deeper level than you can on a Sunday morning. You become better known in our community as your strengths and gifts are recognized and celebrated in your Group. A Community Life Group will walk with you through all seasons of life, support you and provide encouragement as you all journey through life together. There is great benefit to opening yourself up to this type of community.
6. What does it mean to GROW in Community Life Groups?
When we gather with a Community Life group our goal is to grow in faith, grow in our relationship with Jesus, ensuring that we are rooted in him. Out of this idea came our GROW statement:
G – Gather
R – Refresh
O – Outreach
W – Worship
Gather – We gather regularly in Community Life Groups for multiple reasons: to deepen our relationships, to give each other an account of our Christian walk, and to grow stronger in our knowledge of God and who we are in Christ.
Refresh – Community Life Groups serve as a source of encouragement. They are a place to come and draw from a well of support and affirmation. This is the driving force behind the term “Community Life Groups”—we are called to mutually care for and support one another, to do life together in community.
Outreach – Believers are called to live missionally in all aspects of life, and Community Life Groups are no exception. We serve alongside one another in Community Life Groups—locally in our neighbourhoods and cities and globally by supporting Kingdom expansion.
Worship – God reveals himself through worship, and so we come together as Community Life Groups to worship him. This can happen through prayer, Bible study, and music. Our coming together itself is an act of worship. Life lived in community is glorifying to God.
If you are interested in joining a group or coordinating a new one, contact Pastor Kelby (email@example.com).