What is a church community group?

A church community group is a smaller group of people from within a larger church body who gather outside of the traditional Sunday service, usually at someone's home. Community groups are also commonly called small groups or life groups. Church community groups meet to do various things, most commonly including Bible study, prayer, fellowship, and sometimes service projects. The overall purpose of community groups is to help build strong connections between believers that help them to grow in discipleship, prayer, friendship, and accountability (see Proverbs 27:17).

You can think of a community group like a small extension of a local church. Each group usually has one or two leaders who facilitate their meetings. These leaders also coordinate with the larger leadership network of the local church, submitting to the church elders and keeping their community group on the same page with the church's overall focus and mission. Often there are limited members in a community group to help foster deeper relationships and connection. Community groups are often intended as a way to "do life together," which works best when groups are size-limited and members consistently attend.

It is important to stay connected to the congregation at large because it helps provide a stronger framework of support. This is true not only for community groups in general, which function best with the oversight and support of church elders, but also of individuals within the church. Community groups are not intended to be cliques, nor are they replacements for corporate worship. Being connected to the local church means having the benefits of the church elders who help ensure biblically sound teaching. It also means having access to the full resources of the church, which might include classes on specific Bible topics, support groups for specific issues, service opportunities, or physical resources. We should be involved with our local church both in regular attendance at corporate worship and in a smaller community within the church.

Church community groups are a key way a local church helps foster meaningful Christian fellowship. It is in the relationships we have with other believers that we truly get to grow in our faith and fulfill the biblical commands we have for one another, such as:
  • Bearing each other's burdens (Galatians 6:2)
  • Rejoicing with each other (Romans 12:15)
  • Mourning with each other (Romans 12:15)
  • Accepting each other (Romans 15:7)
  • Forgiving each other (Colossians 3:13)
  • Restoring each other when we fall into sin (Galatians 6:1)
  • Stirring each other up to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24)
  • Keeping each other from wandering from the truth (James 5:19)
  • Praying for each other (James 5:16)
  • Honoring each other (Romans 12:10)

  • When we dig deeper into the message from church on Sunday with other believers, or engage in a Bible study together, we are enriched by the discussion and we are further allowing the Word of God to take root within us (see Acts 17:11; Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:27).

    The book of Psalms says: "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" (Psalm 133:1). We may not know every pastor or person at our church. Within community groups, we are able to build relationships with a small group of believers, grow in our faith, and be unified by the Spirit, ready to "lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).

    Related Truth:

    What is Christian fellowship and why is fellowship so important?

    What is meant by the command to love one another?

    What does it mean to bear one another's burdens?

    What does the Bible say about edification? Why is it so important for Christians?

    What does being part of the family of God mean?

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