Community Groups are a vital extension of church life where small groups of people gather to study the Bible, grow in relationships, and serve their community.
Community Groups are grounded in the vision that God has more for His people than a once-a-week meeting. The gospel of Jesus Christ is meant to transform and permeate the way we live. We are called to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22). We see small group ministry as a means toward that end.
What Are Community Groups?
Our Community Groups meet weekly in homes all across the South Hills of Pittsburgh. A group consists of 6–12 people who gather for Bible study, prayer, serving / outreach, and sharing life through fellowship. Some groups are gender-based (men or women), some are season-of-life (i.e. young families), and many are mixed. But every group gathers to encounter God’s Word and His Spirit in life-changing ways.
We run three Community Group sessions per year (think of them like semesters), which means that there is always a chance to sign-up and join one!
Contact us for more details, or inquire on a Sunday morning about how you can join a Community Group.
6 Principles Behind the Community Group Vision
While the Bible leaves lots of options open for how to do small group ministry, there are six core principles that inform our vision for Community Group:
- Discipleship is the church’s mission. Before He ascended, Jesus commanded His followers to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). We take this to mean that the church’s prime directive is to produce a community of Christ-followers. We gather in Community Groups as a group of such people—sinners saved by grace who are now trying to follow Jesus.
- Personal growth is the goal. Our community groups strive deepen each member’s spiritual relationship with God through the gospel. In other words, we want to be people who “bear much fruit and so prove to be [Jesus’] disciples” (John 15:8).
- Spirit-filled Word ministry is the means. “What happens at a Community Group?” you might ask. What we hope will happen is that the Word of God (the Bible) is heard and spoken in ways empowered by God’s Holy Spirit. This combination of God’s truth and God’s power is what can bring about remarkable life-change (see 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, and Acts 4:31).
- Community is the context. Jesus doesn’t call us to live individual lives isolated from each other. Instead, we are instructed to confess and pray together (James 5:16), love one another (John 13:34), serve one another (Galatians 5:13–14), encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24–25), and rejoice / weep with one another (Romans 12:15). This is a small sample of what is called the one-another’s—a rich lifestyle of spiritual and practical connectedness between Christians.
- Disciples are the disciple-makers. So who’s job is it to grow these communities of believers into spiritual maturity? Is it the pastor’s job? The Bible plainly says that it’s the job of all disciples to be a part of this kind of ministry: we are to “grow up in every way into” Christ, and it’s the whole church (all believers in the body) which “makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (see Ephesians 4:15–16).
- Leaders are trainers. The common ministry of discipleship does not make pastors or leaders unnecessary. It simply means they are to take strategic positions of facilitating, equipping, and training Christians to live and grow in these communities together (see Ephesians 4:11–12).