Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Who'sYour Community?

A consistent topic of discussion in our home over the last few months has been that of community. Our church has really been focusing on community groups (home group, life group, small group, etc.) and getting our church families plugged into a group that they can grow deeper with, whether that be in a Sunday morning Adult Bible Fellowship class, or a community group outside of 'church hours.'
The goal for community groups I guess, is probably a little different from church to church. The purpose for them as far as our church goes, is to grow and multiply. Each group has a revolving door, so to speak, where people can visit and see if a group fits them. If it doesn't, no hard feelings, and they check out another group until something clicks. When a group gets 'too big' (a definition that varies depending on who you ask) they split, or multiply as we call it, into 2 groups, or 3 if there are enough people to do that. This is also depending on if there's someone within said group that is willing to open their home to host.

While I completely get the idea of growing and multiplying, as is our church's goal, a revolving door with visitors coming and going and the (ideal) possibility of multiplying every few months is not, in my opinion, conducive to building deep relationships. When talking about this with someone at church recently, she said, "I want a tribe."

Yes! I need a tribe. A village. A group of people that is solid, consistent, not changing all the time.
We (Allen and I) don't get small group at church.
We're teaching, mentoring, discipling, leading.
So how do we find a balance?

This is where I'd love to hear from some of you in ministry.
Where do we as pastors' families find the opportunity for true community?
It's necessary.
It's Biblical.
In Hebrews we're told to meet together and encourage one another. In Galatians we're told to bear one another's burdens. In Acts the disciples broke bread in fellowship and prayer.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, pastors and wives of pastors. And whoever else might be reading this.

What's a community group look like to you? What should it be?


Wes Theriot said...

This is a good piece and I wanted to offer my thoughts, if ok...

I believe that having a community that is stable is always a good thing. You develop deeper relationships and create a bond that is not easily broken. The community becomes family and you care for each other deeply. Because of this, you can be open, honest, and vulnerable because you have developed such a trust for these people.

At the same time, communities will always change for some reason or another. For me, the biggest change in my community was in my early 20s when I moved back to the RR/CP area and hoped that I would reconnect to my "community" at Central. However, most in my community had started getting married and having children. They ventured out into other communities that were able to fulfill their needs. I was not able to connect with another community because I was not willing to become vulnerable again with people I did not trust and who had not spent time investing into my life. I stopped going to church and found community elsewhere.

I have since learned that community will follow you wherever you go and you will always find a group to plug into. The most beneficial communities are the ones filled with love and trust, mutual respect, and accountability. They allow you to be yourself and feel accepted no matter what comes your way. While I deeply long for the "community" I had growing up in church, I know that it was just for a season and lives change and people grow apart. The great thing is when things come full-circle and you are reconnected with those people again and can re-establish yourself in each other's community.

Amy Frans said...

Thanks, Wes! Your thoughts are always welcome!! :-)