Capstone Community Groups – Part 2

Last week we started a series that began to give a behind the scenes look of our community groups (CG). Slowly and surely we will try to paint the whole picture over the next few weeks.

We left off with the question of how do we grow as an extended family? I want to offer three things that can help us move in that direction.

TIME

It takes time to build a family. We live in a microwave society that believes nothing is worth waiting for or putting out some effort. Unfortunately I have had many conversations with people over the years that go to a group one time, say they didn’t connect and then give up. It takes time to get to know people. It takes time for people to get to know you. Not only does it take time, but it also takes effort on everyone’s part. If you really think that it happens in a moment, then I fear you will only leave disappointed.

This is also why our groups don’t do a study for 6-8 weeks and then stop meeting. We believe that community is not built around a study, but is built around life. We are still learning new rhythms for our CGs but I know we are on the right track. Time together outside a normal CG gathering is important too. For example, the CG I am apart of went on a weekend getaway to the mountains together. We didn’t have a big Bible study and prayer retreat. We simply played games, ate good food, laughed and watched a little college football.

FOOD

You cannot read Acts and not recognize the beauty of food and the table. Family dinners used to take over an hour, but now they last less than 20 minutes on average. People let the walls come down at the table. One of the biggest complaints about Jesus was built around who he ate with at times. I said this at our CG gathering and I will put it in writing here: “I believe the table might be more important than the sanctuary.” So we want our CGs to eat together and to do it often. Whether it is bring the food to the house and prepare it together and then eat and then clean up together or ordering delivery or everyone bringing something, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we sit down with good food and good drink and talk, laugh, smile, cry, share. When I was a student pastor my favorite thing to do was to take teenagers out of the church building where half the time they were wearing a mask and sit them down at a restaurant just to talk. They would tell me all kinds of stuff and I think a deeper connection was made. A connection that would not have been made had I simply been the guy who is just in front of the group one hour a week to do a lesson.

PRAYER

This is part of our emphasis this year with CGs. Our groups pray together and for one another. I know that the people that I am closest too are also the ones that I pray the most for in my life. Prayer allows us to go to Father on behalf of another with their hurts and their dreams. Obviously this looks a little different in each group, but it is a vital piece of moving toward becoming an extended family.

There are a ton of other things that could go on this list. These are the three things that I want to make sure happen on a regular basis. Next week I will continue to the conversation toward the rhythms of UP, IN, and OUT in our CGs.

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