The community in church is one aspect of God. It teaches us and our members that God can be a friend to us. Youths are also seeking for a group of people they can belong to. As leaders, it is our job to create a safe place where they can be themselves and grow to become more like Christ.
Community is created by God
Gen 2:18 - It is not good for the man to be alone.
God made us to live in community with Him and each other, not in isolation.
Community is where growth happens
Acts 2:46-47 - They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity — all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
We grow when we encounter God, share with one another, and grow daily.
Community helps you to fight your battles
Ecc 4:12 - A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
This is where equipping and training happens, where we learn who we are fighting against and the victory that is in God.
3 Steps To Building Community
Step 1: Common Goal, Common Enemy
Every time we meet together: are we taking steps toward that goal, and getting better at defeating the enemy?
Set and Guard Culture through language:
What are you and the community constantly speaking into the atmosphere?
What are you allowing or NOT allowing in your conversations?
SPEAK LIFE into your members
Example of phrases that can be used:
“Let’s create a moment we can celebrate together”
“We don’t have to meet, we get to meet”
“A moment coming together in God’s presence can change everything!”
“Every time we show up, it COUNTS!”
Celebrate Victories! 🎉 (Both BIG and small wins!)
If one wins we all win - we’re on the same side!
What are ways we can encourage progress?
Practically: pizza parties, ice cream treats etc.
Step 2: Create Shared Experiences
A community is made up of a group of individual relationships, so we shouldn't just create experiences just for groups, but individually too. It is important not just to do it during Connect Group (CG) but during the week too!
As a group:
Play games together as a CG E.g Exploding Kittens, the Singaporean Dream, Unstable Unicorn, Catan, Soccer, Basketball
Netflix party together (if everyone in the CG has) Note: Be careful of what you are streaming to your CG
On the Individual level:
Call your members during the week to check up on them
Don’t just ask them how they are but normalise talking about harsh things. What is that something they don't share with anyone else (of course, this comes with trust built with time!)
Look at Deep Conversation Starters
Step 3: Create a Sense of Ownership
Responsibilities give people a sense of ownership
Give your members opportunities to grow:
“When you delegate tasks, you create followers, but when you delegate authority, you create leaders.” - Pastor Craig Groeschel
Break down your CG Outreach and give each member an aspect to be in charge of:
Member 1 - Food
Member 2 - Games
Member 3 - Decor
Repeat the cycle!
Get those who you’ve trained to train someone else
For example, If your member is good at calligraphy, get them to design your CG Outreach graphics.
Then, they can teach the skill to other members!
Building the community takes time and effort. Don't be hard on yourself if you do not see immediate results. Press in. THIS IS US.