About Community Group
This section defines and explains certain elements that are present at Covenant Life Community Group.
A key element in our Community Group is the study of Scripture. The Bible is the revelation of God and is therefore authoritative in our lives. It should be the place we go to answer questions about our lives. The Bible is our source of wisdom and practical application of the gospel to daily living. It should not be something we merely study but something we live by.
As believers in community, we are to apply what we read in Scripture in worship of Jesus, in love for one another, and in mission to the world.
Therefore, we spend time studying the Bible within the rhythm of our gatherings. During this time we often follow the text from Sunday. The purpose for this is to encourage unity among the congregation and unify ministries within Covenant Life so that parents, youth, and children are learning together.
Questions are provided for the text covered on Sunday. These questions are provided to encourage Community Group attendees to engage in the text (not simply the sermon), as we would prefer you test and explore the scriptures on your own in response to what you have heard.
Prayer is a gift of God’s grace to us. It is an opportunity to communicate with the Creator of the universe. We have the ability to converse with God, praising Him, confessing our sin, asking for His provision, and listening for His response. Our Community Group is consistently seasoned with prayer.
- Praise of God
- Praying for His Will
We provide opportunities to pray often in order build a culture of prayer. We would ask those who attend Community Group to be considerate with regard to prayer requests (this generally soaks up too much time). On occasion we break into smaller groups to have everyone share requests. It is more important to pray than talk about praying. For those who are new, who may not know how to pray, do not be concerned.
Here are some ways in which we approach prayer at Community Group:
- Pray as a large group (directed, specific prayers for neighborhood, the sick, the mission, etc.)
- Pray in smaller groups (break out by gender)
- Pray in groups of two (specific prayers for each other)
- Pray on your own (no pre-discussion, pray as you feel led)
- Everyone pray for the same thing at the same time
- Pray through Psalms or other Scripture
- Meditate on scripture.
CONFESSION AND REPENTANCE
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. –James 5:15
As with prayer we are looking for a culture of confession and repentance as a response to the gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit. If we are to see transformation at Covenant Life, we need to see conviction worked out in repentance. As a community of believers we cannot wink at sin, but must lovingly correct beliefs, thoughts, and behavior that are not honoring to God. The purpose must always be reconciliation not conformity. Reconciliation is the gospel. Conformity is religion. Therefore, the goal of confession and repentance in Community Group is to point to Jesus, the cross and the resurrection, as the only remedy for sin and look to the Holy Spirit for the ability to walk in righteousness. We want heart change not merely behavior change. Therefore, we address sin with the gospel not with rules.
As the image bearers of God in community, we ought to live lives of worship. As a community we should encourage one another toward constant worship. You can practice this in community in many ways but here are a few examples:
- Worship together on Sunday
- Lift praises to God
- Pray through the Psalms or other Scripture
- Write a poem/psalm in exaltation of Jesus (tell the guys you are writing a song)
- Gather to sing worship songs
- Eat a great meal and praise God
- Gather for Thanksgiving
- Clean someone’s yard for the glory of God
This is a platform where you can enjoy one another and can more easily invite new people to experience community with believers. Hallmarks of hospitality include food, fun, and conversation. The point is to build relationships that will last into eternity.
This is the platform where we get out and bless our city. It is an opportunity to partner with your neighbors toward a common cause and gives you the time to develop relationship with your neighborhood. It is an opportunity to reflect the grace and love of Jesus to your neighbors. Service also includes serving the body of Christ, so check “Connect” for more information regarding areas of ministry you can serve. For ideas regarding how you can serve our city and neighborhoods check “Connect: Public Works”.
Mission is the engagement with your neighborhood for the glory of Jesus and the advancement of the kingdom of God. This is the outward focus of Community Group, it is to love people and share the truth of the gospel through the witness of our lives together. This is the consistent focus of our community in prayer and action.
Facilitating Community Group takes work; consider helping out with set up, food/snacks, drinks, clean up, etc. For more information on how to volunteer, check “Connect: Community Group”.
Childcare is provided during our time of community. We have no less then two adults watching kids, regardless of how few children are in attendance. Parents are to take their own children to the bathroom or change diapers. For more information on how to volunteer, check “Connect: Community Group”.
EXERCISE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS
The Holy Spirit is in the business of exalting Jesus and that is the purpose of Covenant Life Ministries’ Community Group. Therefore it stands to reason that we should be exercising gifts of the Spirit in community and seeing the fruits of the Spirit as well. As the church is described as a body with all the parts important to the function of the body, so a community of believers should be using their gifts for the glorification of Jesus. When discerning the appropriateness of particular gifts in community, remember that the purpose of those gifts is to exalt Jesus.
Every member should put together a plan for personal growth in Christ over the next year. This growth plan is a reminder and a tool to help keep you on track; it is a means of accountability to God, your leaders, fellow believers, and yourself.