This is part one of a six-part series on the core community practices that best serve community groups.
I’m often asked, “What should we do in community group?” There’s so much that can be done: Bible study, prayer, fellowship, sermon discussion, accountability, eating together, throwing parties, serving in the community … the list is endless!
So where should community groups invest their time? How can we “do” community group in a way that is life-giving and meaningful?
At Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, we have taught six core community practices that best serve to cultivate meaningful relationships and bless our neighbors: remembering, listening, blessing, celebrating, mourning, and resting.
The Bible is full of invitations to remember: Remember God’s promises! Remember God’s past provision! Remember your identity in Christ! The Israelites found a number of ways to commemorate God’s faithfulness, from the design of the temple to feasts and festivals.
We are a forgetful people, so when something really matters, we form a way of remembering it. We mark significant milestones in our life—anniversaries, births, deaths, graduations, etc.—and come back each year to celebrate or commemorate them. We can and should do the same thing in our community group! We can slow down and remember what God has done in us, for us, and through us.
As a group, remembering is one of the best ways to love one another.
- Remember each other’s kids’ names and celebrate their birthdays
- Remember one another’s ongoing life challenges and prayer requests and ask about them.
- Remember to reach out to a first-time visitor to thank them for coming.
- Take 10-15 minutes each week for a member or couple to share their life story in depth, and remember important events in their life.
- Every few months, pause and reflect on how God has provided for your group.
- Annually, stop and remember how your group has grown and matured together, gather around a big meal together, and praise God for it!
Read Part Two: Listening.
Jeremy Linneman is pastor of community life at Sojourn Community Church, a diverse family of four interdependent congregations in Louisville, Kentucky. A graduate of the University of Missouri and Southern Seminary, he is the founder/director of Fidelity Coaching, a leadership development group, and an occasional writer for The Gospel Coalition and other sites. He and his wife, Jessie, have three sons.