Making Your Group Real "Friends"

Follow these principles to help people fulfill their longing for true community.

Don't we all long to be a part of something fun, exciting, and life-giving?

The sitcom Friends captured this desire. Every week 50 million people watched six actors pretending to have relationships with one another. Its popularity was fueled by the deep longing we all have to be connected in community.

The advertising world has caught on to this yearning as well. Ads like MCI's promise to connect us with our family and friends. The "felt need" is clear. But the real need is found in the biblical word, koinonia, which means "fellowship." God's plan from the beginning was that each one of us would belong to a spiritual community, where we all would be known and we would know others.

How can we create a community like this? How can we connect with one another?

Here are seven principles to help you CONNECT with the people in your group and to help them connect with one another.

1. Create a one-another community. In the New Testament there are over 50 different references to "one another": love one another, bear one another's burdens, pray for one another, and serve one another are just a few. This can't happen only on Sunday mornings; it needs to happen in other settings, like small groups.

Once you've invited your circle of friends and they show up, remember you don't have to be a Bible scholar to create a one-another community. Your job is to ask the questions, look around the room, and wait for someone to respond. When someone voices a response, affirm them, no matter what they say. Don't feel like you have to answer every one of the questions yourself. It's like a ping-pong game: just get it started and keep the ball in play.

Another way to create ...

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