1. What is the purpose of Small Groups?
The purpose of Small Groups at Christ Community Church is to provide an opportunity for our church family to build relationships with one another, engage the Word of God together, challenge and encourage each other to apply it to their lives, and serve and pray for one another in concrete, practical ways. These are aspects of Christian discipleship by which we grow in our experience of the abundant life we have been redeemed into by the work of Jesus for us, as well as become equipped to help others come to share in it.
2. Am I required to participate in a Small Group to be a member at CCC?
No. Small groups are provided as one practical way, though not the only way, in which our church family can pursue some important elements of Christian discipleship to which the Lord has called us and which we have promised to pursue by our profession of faith and church membership vows. Although every Christian has a duty to pursue discipleship, we are all free in Christ to do so in diverse and creative ways.
3. When and where do Small Groups meet?
Currently, Small Groups at meet at various evenings during the week at the home of a host family who is either a member or regular-attender of CCC. This schedule is primarily to allow couples to attend together when one or both would otherwise be at work. In the future, men-, and/or women-specific groups may be organized which may choose to meet at various times during week-days. For information about meeting times and places, contact Robby Baxter at: [email protected]
4. What does a Small Group meeting look like?
The general format for Small Groups at CCC is to meet four times per month: twice to spend time discussing the sermon—engaging the Word that has been preached to us, and encouraging each other to apply it to our lives—and twice to spend time in focused prayer for each other, the church, and the world. Aside from this general guideline, individual groups are free and encouraged to spend time fellowshipping, celebrating, and serving with one another in as many creative ways as they can think of that are consistent with the vision and values of CCC.
5. How should I prepare for a Small Group meeting?
You should prepare for Small Group meetings by being present for Sunday Worship, prayerfully attentive to God’s Word as it is preached, and reflecting on its meaning for the way we are to think and live. You are not expected to deliver long and detailed talks about the Bible or your personal life during a Small Group meeting. You are not expected to give long prayers. Just come ready to engage the group in discussion about what we have heard from the Word during Sunday worship, and to participate in prayer for the help we all need from God to live in a way that brings Him glory.
6. Who can join a Small Group?
Small Groups at CCC are open to anyone who is willing and able to participate. They are not, and should not become, closed groups limited to those who begin when the group starts or those who have formed close connections within the group. While we do want to build relationships within these groups, we also want to welcome new additions and be excited about the way God will use new relationships to build and encourage us in the faith.
7. Can I change my Small Group?
We recognize that different factors may sometimes necessitate a change in groups. A change in schedule or a desire for a different group dynamic can be valid reasons to switch to a different group. However, we also want to limit lateral movements to different groups for light or trivial reasons, and we especially want to guard against leaving a group because of unreconciled conflict. It is up to group members to be committed to the vow they took as members to uphold the purity and peace of the church, and to be discerning about their reasons for switching groups.
8. Who can host a Small Group?
Anyone who is either a member of CCC or has been regularly attending Sunday worship at CCC, and has a home with adequate space and parking, may host a Small Group meeting. Hosts should have a room with enough comfortable seating (arranged so that everyone can face each other) for up to 10-12 people. There should also be enough parking space (driveway, cul-de-sac, curbside, etc.) to safely park 5-8 cars. If you are not currently in a group and are interested in hosting one, contact Robby Baxter for more information at: [email protected]
9. Who can lead a Small Group?
Small Group Facilitators must be members in good standing at Christ Community Church, living in a way that manifests a regenerated heart, committed to discipleship and the purpose and vision of the Small Group ministry of CCC, and willing and able to go through a short period of training with the Small Groups Director. As groups become established and grow, our desire is for new Facilitators to be identified, trained and discipled from within the groups themselves.
10. What do Small Group Facilitators do?
As the title implies, Small Group Facilitators serve to facilitate the group discussion and prayer times. They do this by being prepared to discuss the sermon themselves and how they are seeking to apply it to their lives, posing questions for group discussion, keeping the discussion from turning into a monologue or debate, and leading the group in prayer for each other and the mission of the church in the world. They also serve to keep the group informed of any schedule changes, the Small Groups Director informed of the overall health of the group, and to coordinate group sign-ups for childcare and refreshments.
11. Is childcare available for Small Groups?
Each group will have to work out for themselves whether childcare is needed and a responsibility the group is willing to share. If the group is willing to share that responsibility, and if the host family has a separate, appropriate space they are willing to use for small children to play in during the meeting, then the group Facilitators should coordinate a rotation of childcare signups among the group members.
12. Will there be men-, or women-specific Small Groups?
Currently, there are no groups for men or women only. In the future, such groups may be organized if there is interest in and leadership for it. We recognize the importance of learning from other men and women how to be faithful Christians given the unique callings and challenges of manhood and womanhood. We also want to emphasize the beauty of a community that represents the unity we share in Christ despite the diversity of our experiences (Gal. 3:26-29), and so encourage you to be involved in a mixed group if you are able.
13. Will there be Small Groups based on life-stages (singles, recently-married, college-aged, etc.)?
No. While we recognize that different stages of life bring with it unique challenges, and while it is good to have friends with whom we can face those challenges together, we believe the Biblical model of discipleship brings us alongside people from every stage and walk of life so that we can learn and model how to be a faithful follower of Jesus no matter the circumstances in which we presently happen to be. Our goal is discipleship, not affinity.
14. What if I have a conflict with someone in my Small Group?
If we are pursuing discipleship together, the question is not really about what to do if conflict arises, but what to do when it arises. Discipleship is messy because it brings our brokenness to the front. But it’s also beautiful because it gives us a chance to participate in the restoration that God is working in us by changing us more and more into holy, Christ-like people. Don’t run away from conflict, or retreat in hurt or fear. Pursue gospel reconciliation and forgiveness and, if necessary, seek counsel from other wise and experienced Christians.
15. What if I have an idea for Small Group content and/or a group project?
We do not want Small Group meetings to be the place where we debate the latest peripheral theological controversy, and while there is much value in going through helpful books together, our desire for the Small Group meeting is to keep it limited to the engagement of what God is teaching our whole church through His Word each Sunday. However, group members are certainly free, and in fact encouraged, to bring to the group’s attention possible areas where together we can be of service to each other and our communities in a way that demonstrates the love of Christ.