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3 Tips for Crafting Community

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At a recent meeting with the Community Group leaders of ACTS11, we sat down to brainstorm some ideas. We wanted to figure out how to foster a community within groups (hence the community + group).

To begin with, we agreed that central to having community is having God himself. By his gifts of prayer and scripture we can hope to become the community that God desires.

If you’re reading this, I’ll assume that you also prioritise these central aspects of any bible group. Still, many biblical and prayerful leaders still want to know exactly how to foster community.

Here are the three top tips that have worked for many groups:

Have fun

It doesn’t take a marketing major to know that humour reduces defences. Laughing about anything helps to break down barriers that prevent community.

Play some icebreaker games before bible study every now and then. Play boardgames or watch a movie together. Instead of ‘saving face’, enjoyment and fun helps people to get real with each other.

Eat food

Although food is commonly linked with having fun as above, one must not underestimate the power of food in friendship. Across different cultures and lifestyles, sharing meals is central to many communities.

In scripture we see the importance of breaking bread together with brothers and sisters  (albeit different from Holy Communion). Even Jesus ate with his disciples and sinners, and invites us to do the same.

Model fellowship

Lastly, if you want your group to be an open, honest, trusting community, you’ve got to model fellowship. This is helpful if you have a co-leader, but still possible if you’re a lone ranger.

Want people to be honest with their struggles? Put yourself out there. Want people to practice prayer and scripture reading? Prioritise it yourself. Want people to share about their lives? Talk about yours (and ask about theirs).

 

These aren’t guaranteed to give you the ‘gospel-centred community’ you see in Acts 2, but it’s a start for our day.

Supporting resources:

  • Leading Better Bible Studies – Karen and Rod Morris
  • Transformational Groups – Ed Stetzer and Eric Geiger

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