This group value is about helping us to build community relationships.
To help understand the thinking behind this value, here is an extract from Laurence’s booklet, Small Groups – an Introduction, explaining this value.
John 13:35 ‘By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’
In this powerful statement Jesus is telling us about the power of community. That if we as Christians are connected together in a genuine way this is not just of benefit to us but it is a demonstration to the world of the reality of the Christian message.
It is true to say that when we go to church on a Sunday there is a measure of community and that is a good thing but when we are in a small group we can step into a whole new level of community.
What does this look like? For example, in our group we had a lady suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome which meant for a number of years she had no energy whatsoever and so for the small group this was an opportunity for the community to cook meals and to help support a family in crisis.
At other times it is just simple things; a word, a phone call, a cup of coffee, those human connections that in some way carry the spirit of the divine God who himself lives in community as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As we all grow in community and learn to give and receive what is the currency of the Kingdom of God, we not only benefit in the now but we become community carriers and we take this simple idea of community into our wider world. In a sense we become carriers of the kingdom of God as we do this.
In talking to a senior policeman responsible for a good sized town here in England, he said that 40% of the work his officers do relates to the breakdown of community. Nothing to do with policing in the real sense of the word, they were responding to calls of loneliness, responding to things that a good neighbour could do. So as we learn community in our small group we take community wherever we go and it is transformational.
A young woman worked in an office building that was really quite cold in terms of its atmosphere and nobody knew one another; it wasn’t a great place to be. But an ordinary church member who had experienced community in her small group brought its essence into this workplace. Her warm smile, her conversations, her getting to know everybody, joining the threads together began to bring a warmth that thawed the cold atmosphere. It restored a sense of community that this particular space had not seen for a very long time.
So in your small group you will experience community and you will become part of community as you give and receive and care together.
Some of the key resources we offer in this area are shown below.
- Our Icebreaker Playing Cards are a fun way to kick off the Welcome section of a meeting, with a wealth of suggested icebreaker topics.
- Similarly, our Discipleship Deck cards can also help with icebreaker ideas as well as other group areas.
Please browse our shop for more resources.