Community Standards

Authentic relationships are essential to small group—and individual—life.

It's Tuesday night at 7:00, time once again for small group. The group has been meeting now for almost two years, and every one of these couples in their 30s and young 40s would say they have formed a strong bond with one another. It is community at its best, they would tell you.

The group meets every week per month except one, which they take off to spend time together as couples. Forty weeks per year, 7:00 to 8:30 on Tuesday nights. They have made a commitment to community — "devoted to the… fellowship" as it says in Acts 2:42.

Oh, it's true that someone is missing from nearly every meeting, but everyone's schedule is busy and life is hectic. That's why they cherish the hour and a half they have with one another almost every week.

  • "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. … Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming that Jesus is the Christ.… and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.… Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today" (Acts 2:46; 5:42; 2:47; Hebrews 3:13).

The description of the early church that Jesus founded — the model for all churches after it — paints a very different picture than what we see in many Christian small groups today. The word community or fellowship (koinonia in their language) meant far more than it does to us. Widely-known churches in America talk a lot about "biblical community" and yet their small groups meet only once every two weeks. As Randy Frazee put it in his must-read book, The Connecting Church, "If we want the outcome of the 'First ...

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