"Trinity's community groups are a place where it's okay to not be okay all the time!" - Nick, husband, father
What are the Distinctives of Trinity Community Groups?
- Food, fellowship, discusion, and prayer.
- Led by trained and supported facilitators.
- Meet regularly.
- Committed to multiplying both individual groups as well as leaders.
- A great place to introduce new people to Trinity.
How do Community Groups fit into Trinity?
Community Groups are the primary place for pastoral care at Trinity. Life-on-life discipleship requires us to actually do life together. Because we often live busy, disjointed lives, it's difficult for us to make that happen naturally. So what doesn't happen naturally, Trinity wants to do systematically: have people meet together in order to walk through the ups and downs of life...together.
Because of their foundational role in the life of our church, we hope that a great majority of Trinity attendees will be involved in a Gommunity Group.
What is the purpose of a Community Group?
1. To make disciples
The words of Matthew 28:19-20 are familiar to most, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Few understand the radical nature of this command, however. Jesus commands us to make disciples, not just converts, and he connects discipleship with obedience. Discipleship is the process by which a person becomes a more fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ.
How does this happen? Scripture makes it very clear that this does not happen in isolation. All major exhortations in the New Testament to holy living are plural (Rom 6:1-23; Gal 5:13-6:10; Eph 4:17-6:18), meaning that discipleship is to successfully happen in the context of a loving and caring fellowship. Community Groups are the place where the truths of scripture are applied to life through loving confrontation and healthy accountability.
2. To provide fellowship and mutual care
Fellowship can be defined as seeking to share with others what God has made known to you while letting them share with you what they know of him as a means of finding strength, refreshment, and instruction for one's own soul. Community Groups exist to create a context for dynamic fellowship.
As believers spend time in fellowship, they become aware of the needs of others, and opportunities arise for them to care for each other. Scripture commands believers to care for one another. “God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Cor 12:24-26). Community Groups are one of the most strategic venues through which this mutual care can be achieved. Why? Because it is nearly impossible to achieve this level of care in a Sunday morning worship service. It is too easy for people to slip through the cracks. In the context of a Community Group, people can give and receive specific, personal care. These groups also serve as a key way to integrate people who join our community and to keep leadership aware of the concerns and troubles that face the members of our congregation which might otherwise remain hidden.
3. To exercise spiritual gifts for service
God has given spiritual gifts to every Christian (1 Cor 12:1-7). He fully expects us to use them. However, the church is sometimes compared to a football stadium where you find 22 people who desperately need a rest and thousands of people who desperately need exercise. Community Groups are a place where spiritual gifts are discovered and exercised within the group itself, the larger church, and the world. They are a place where vision for ministry and service are developed.
4. To explore and discover Christianity
Community Groups are a place where individuals who are seeking truth can be invited and encouraged to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Those who are not Christians, because they are created in the image of God, long to be a part of a community in which its members love each other well. We see this dynamic occur in the early church in Acts 2:47, “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Authentic Christian community is a powerful evangelistic tool.
In addition, Community Groups serve as a place where we can remind one another of our call to share the gospel and pray for those with whom we are sharing the good news that God has reconciled himself to us in Jesus Christ.