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Healthy Groups Are a Community for the Community

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, 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. 

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mmack@churchleaders.com'
Michael C. Mack founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and served as a small-groups minister for more than 20 years in several churches. He is a writer, editor, trainer, and consultant in the areas of small groups, leadership, and discipleship. He is the author of more than 25 books and small group studies, including his latest, World's Greatest Small Group (pub. January, 2017). He regularly blogs on his ministry website at SmallGroupLeadership.com. His family is a small group that includes his wife Heidi, their four children, and their dog, Lainey. Mike is also an avid mountain biker.