Some churches call their small groups that meet in homes “Community Groups.” I like that name for two important reasons: (1) the name reveals where authentic Christian community takes place and (2) it indicates that these groups are a primary vehicle for the church reaching into its community.

Small groups are (or at least should be) places where friends are made and grown, where the New Testament one anothers are lived out. They are environments where intimacy and trust and accountability grow. They are the body of Christ in action.

They are also an essential way for the church to reach into the community, as each person and group reached its oikos – the Greek term meaning household with an applied meaning of a person’s or group’s web of relationships or sphere of influence. 

In fact, I believe these kinds of groups are far more than just a “vehicle” for “First Church of Anywhere” to use to carry out its mission. These missional groups are the church, as the Bible defines it. Like the New Testament churches that met in homes (see Acts 8:3; Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 2), these churches work together within the larger church (1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Revelation 1:11, for example) to build God’s Kingdom.

Healthy, missional, Christ-centered small groups carry out Christ’s commission for his church: to go into the world around us and make disciples, baptizing them, assimilating them into Christ’s body – both spiritually and relationally – and teaching them to obey everything Christ has commanded us. 

MORE ON THIS SUBJECT:

How Your Small Group Can (Must) Partner with God
Reconciliation: the Heart of Small Groups
Healthy small group leaders are friends with non-Christ-followers
Leading from the Heart, Chapter 7: “A Heart of Reconciliation”

Small Group Vital Signs, Vital Sign #6: “A Healthy Group Ministers to Others”

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Michael Mack has led Small Group Leadership full-time since 2012, but has been involved in small group ministry for more than 25 years. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. Their family small group, which includes their four young adult children, has much potential (and much anticipation) for future growth and multiplication. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of great friends who participate together in various charity rides. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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