At Forest Hills Baptist Church we exist to treasure Christ, equip believers, and send disciples for the glory of God. In seeking to carry out this vision, community groups are an essential element.
Treasuring – Treasuring Christ together is the aim of community groups. Rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep (Romans 12:15) is an integral part of seeing and savoring Christ in the ebb and flow of life.
Equipping – Christians are equipped not only in direct instruction, but also in living life alongside fellow believers. Through prayer, encouragement, accountability, and discussion as well as mutual application of biblical truth, those involved in community groups are able to experience a remarkable means of equipping grace.
Sending – The ultimate aim of community groups is not to merely create a more personal environment, though that certainly is part of the purpose, but rather to serve as a launching pad for organic life-on-life ministry. Those involved in community groups treasure Christ together and are equipped as iron sharpens iron in order to reach out to others.
Living in community is a dangerous pursuit. Everyone would agree that it is noble and some would even say that it’s necessary. However, very few actually accompany their call to community with the calls of confession, repentance and accountability. Perhaps one of the biggest fears we all share is that someone will actually discover who we are at the core. This fear can only be dispelled with the unconditional love of Christ through the gospel and then exemplified through our brothers and sisters at our side. Hebrews 10:19-25 offers several key, yet simple, aspects of community.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,and since we have a great priest over the house of God,let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
- We must hold one another accountable. (Stirring one another up to love and good works)
- We must encourage one another.
- We must be together. (Not neglecting to meet together)
- The basis of this community is the gospel. (Because of the new and living way through Christ’s blood)
While corporate worship is a glorious time, it also proves a more difficult context to practice personal accountability, encouragement, and “togetherness.” Community groups provide a context where these essential elements can be more faithfully pursued.
For more information/guidelines click the link below:
Watch Pastor Justin's vision casting sermon on Community Groups: