Okay, we’ve talked about the three distinctions of a biblical small group. Number one, are we creating disciples in our small group? Number two, are we experiencing community because we know that discipleship happens best within the context of community? Then number three is our small group on mission? Are we making a difference in the world that we find ourselves in and so today I want to focus on community. How do we ensure that community is happening with our small group? I think we have to be intentional in two ways. The first one is in our schedule with our group meeting. So as you schedule out your actual meeting, you want to look at the different segments and the first part of the group you want to make sure you have time set aside for community. So about 20 to 25 minutes of just hanging out, getting to know each other, maybe have a snack or dinner food of some sort. Just to give the group the chance to have community at the beginning of the group time.
And then after that you’re going to have your study, which is going to be about 40 to 45 minutes, but then you want to set aside the end of the group time, another 20 to 25 minutes for more community building. And a lot of times this is when the best conversations are going to happen. So someone who didn’t want to speak up during the Bible study might find somebody during this last segment when you’re having dessert, just hanging out to ask that critical question that leads to discipleship. And so make sure that you’re intentional with your group meeting. Schedule the built in times for community. And then second scheduling times on your calendar for community. So as you set up kind of your calendar days to meet, make sure that about once a semester or once a quarter that you have at least one day just for community. So that means you can even do like a game night or get outside of the house or the room where you meet and have a picnic together. Go to the zoo or just do something fun that makes sure there’s community built into your calendar, into your schedule, so schedule it into your meetings and then put it on your calendar and let’s make sure we have community in our small group.