September 25th, 2017
Name calling matters.
This past summer, we spent hours in our Leadership Team and with past Midweek Groups leaders at Austin Mustard Seed asking the question:
What words best capture the experience we hope people have in our the smaller groups at our Church?
We landed on the term “Community Groups.”
Seven Traits of Austin Mustard Seed Community Groups
Yes, we know that the term “Community” can be overused, especially in churchworld. This is how we got there:
We asked the question “what common traits do all our groups have?” Even though each group is different, what do we hope they will all experience?
We agreed on seven key traits:
- Growing in the Way of Jesus—Groups are united by a desire to better understand who Jesus is, what he taught, and what it means to live those teachings out today
- Commitment to the Group—Participating in a Community Group requires a willingness to dedicate time, energy and resources to meeting regularly, communicating consistently and investing in the lives of other group members.
- Space for Vulnerability—Groups are hospitable places where individuals can feel seen, known and welcome, no matter where they are in their personal journey and in their faith.
- Joining God’s Mission—Groups are driven by God’s Mission and seek ways to join God in making all things new.
- Dialogical—Groups focus on honest conversation about each other’s lives, hopes, questions and opinions.
- Prayer—Groups regularly pray for each other and for outsiders. They also help individuals grow in their own practice of prayer.
- Hospitality—Groups are dedicated to welcoming passionate believers, hopeful skeptics, adults, children, families and the unmarried, no matter what their stage in life or faith.
When we tried to sum these traits up, we couldn’t come up with a better word than “Community”.
What to Expect this Week (9.24—9.30)
This is one of the best possible weeks to join a group.
The goal of Community Groups this week is to articulate a “covenant”. A covenant is a relational agreement between people before God.
Community Group Covenants help set the expectations of each group on how to participate and what to expect.
By helping form these covenants, you will help shape the nature and values of the group.
Are you looking for a group where you can be honest? Put that in the covenant.
Are you looking for a group where you can have fun? Put that in the covenant.
Are you looking for a group that will help you experience a deeper spiritual life? Put that in the covenant.
Led by the Holy Spirit, you are forming these groups together.
What will your group focus on?