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.
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.