What is Biblical community?

When churches talk about small groups, teams, cell groups or anything like that, how would you define it? What’s the goal in simple, easy to understand terms?

I think a lot of people are intimidated or overwhelmed by the idea of meeting together in small groups. For some, it feels programmatic. We’ll read a book, answer some questions, and move on with life. It sounds boring. Like something you do only because you have to.

For others, it’s intimidating because it’s relational. You’ll have to go to someone’s house, talk to people, share your thoughts and hope no one judges you or gossips.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! I’ve experienced small groups filled with meaning, purpose and excitement. You become friends, or even better, family.

With that in mind, here’s how I would define the ideal. If you have ideas, you can help me refine it. I’m trying to keep it simple…

A small group is just friends getting together who are intentional about having spiritual conversations and following Christ.

And with the ‘friends’ thing, you don’t have to even know the other people in your small group when you start, but as time progresses, the ideal is a growing friendship as you come to understand each other and grow together.

I could say so much more. I think this is the heart of ‘church’. It’s sharing meals together. It’s laughing. It’s praying and experiencing the big milestone of life. It’s talking about the challenges of scripture. It’s serving the community and the world together.

But if I had to just use one sentence, I’d use the one above :).

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2 responses to “What is Biblical community?”

  1. i would have gripes with your sentence if it didn’t have the word “intentional” in it.

    i think sometimes people think they’re doing good things because they’re friends and they’re Christians and that must be church…BUT with out intentionality a small group can quickly become a social gathering.

  2. Rick Howerton, Director of Events and Training for Serendipity House here. I believe your definition is one of the most potent, understandable, and organic I’ve seen in a long, long time. We do become friends over time so, as you mentioned that may take time. And we should be friends conversing about real life and Scripture and guiding one another so that we are truly following Christ. Thanks for reminding this small group trainer what it’s really all about.

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