What is a Community Group
A Community Group is a mid-sized community that is being spiritually transformed, growing as a spiritual family, and makes mission in a specific neighborhood, area, or organization in Lowndes County a priority.
Vision of Community Groups
To multiply disciples of Jesus in the context of Gospel-centered community and mission. (Matthew 28:18-20).
• Community - As Community Group partners gather to eat, pray, worship, read scripture, encourage one another, and serve others, they will grow as disciples of Jesus and discover the joy of taking part in a shared mission. (Acts 2;42-47)
• Mission - As Community Groups are intentional about serving, the people in our county will witness a community that lives out the Gospel in tangible ways. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Who Can Be in a Community Group?
Community Groups are the DNA of TPCC. Community Groups are made up of people that can belong before they believe. This means that Community Groups are a reflection of our entire church and are comprised of mature Christians, new Christians, and non-Christians. Simply put, we want to be in a Community Group because that is where both community and mission take place.
Core Values of a Community Group
The values that drive Community Groups are UP - IN - OUT. Because of God’s act of reaching DOWN to us in the Gospel, a Community Group responds with an Upward movement to God, an Inward movement to one another, and an Outward movement to our community.
UP - Movement Toward God
In your Community Group, people will pursue God and grow in their love for Jesus. This may sound simple, but many often seek to live apart from God, preferring independence from Him and others. (Ephesians 2:1-3; 2
Rhythms that include UP
• Discussing the Sunday message/scripture through the online study guide. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Joshua 1:8)
• Reflecting, praying, and praising God for His work. (Psalm 95:1-2)
• Connecting for 1-on-1 mentoring. (2 Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 10:24-25)
• Worshiping God. (Psalm 105:1-2)
• Confessing and repenting of sin, and reminding each other of the good
news of Jesus Christ! (James 5:16)
IN - Movement Toward God’s People
In a Community Group, people learn to love one another. This means sharing each other’s burdens and praying for each other. New people are not left out, but drawn in as they experience ‘family’ living in light of the Gospel. (Acts 2:42-47; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Rhythms that include IN
• Practicing hospitality and care for one another in practical ways (prayer, comfort in illness and loss, meals, service, and celebration.) (Mark 12:30-31; 1 Thessalonians 2:8)
• Building relationships and encouraging each other by sharing our
stories. (Psalm 22:22; 1 John 1:1-3)
• Connecting for 1-on-1 mentoring. (2 Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 10:24-25)
• Praying, praising, and worshiping God together. (psalm 95:1-2; 105:1-2)
OUT - Movement Toward God’s Mission
Every Porch Group is encouraged to define and participate in a mission.
Plan and organize a service project or event that meets a need in your
community. (Mark 12:30-31; 1 Thessalonians 2:8)
Rhythms that include OUT
• Inviting people to your Porch Group. Allowing the Gospel to be seen
and heard in community is a powerful witness. (John 13:35)
• Caring for others in practical ways through mission.
Community Group Format
What a Community Group will most likely look like.
1.5 hours max!
Share S.O.A.P.’s (what have you been reading and learning)
Listen to Someone’s Story
Message Series Discussion Questions
Jesus pursues us, He offers us His gift of salvation, and we can choose to follow Him. It’s a wonderful story still being written.
What is your story?
Taking time to think about your story is important because it helps you recognize the work of God in your life. It helps you see the highs and lows, the valleys and mountains of your life in view of God. Your story also encourages others and helps them know they are not alone on this journey.
All of our stories are different, and yet all point to Jesus! When we hear others’ stories, we see just how much we have in common in the saving work of Jesus Christ!
Use the questions below to help you write out your story.
1. My life before
• What did my life revolve around the most?
• Where did I find my security and happiness?
• How did those areas begin to let me down?
2. When I started asking questions
• When did I start to read/understand the gospel?
• What were my initial reactions?
• When did my attitude begin to turn around? Why?
• What were the struggles that went through my mind?
• Did I accept Christ?
3. My life now
• Specific changes and examples of the changes Christ has made.
• Why am I motivated differently?
Scripture. Observation. Application. Prayer.
Reading the Bible is the best way to know God. But, sometimes knowing how to process what we read can de difficult or hard to remember or apply. Get a notebook. Get your Bible. Get ready to SOAP!
The SOAP structure helps you think through what you’re reading. (Of course, there are other ways to study scripture. This is a suggestion for those who have never studied or who struggle to study scripture.)
Copy down the verse or verses that stuck out the most. When reading, ask: Who is the author? Who is in the passage? What
happened before and after this passage? What things are repeated or emphasized? Then summarize the passage in your own words.
Write down what you noticed. How do you think the author wants his audience to respond? What does it reveal about mankind? What does it reveal about God? How does this point to Jesus and Gospel? Write down thoughts, feelings, questions, or ideas that come to mind.
How can you apply what you learned? What thoughts or attitudes do you need to turn from? What truths about the Gospel do you need to believe? Getting practical with the Bible helps it come alive in your life.
Write a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask Him to help you apply this truth in your life.
WHAT ARE 1-on-1’s?
1-on-1’s (also known as ‘mentoring’, ‘discipleship’, etc.) are an opportunity to meet together with someone for more intentional spiritual growth or to work through a specific time in your life that you don’t want to share with a
WHY ARE 1-on-1’s IMPORTANT?
1-on-1’s provide a safe place to be known in such a way that you can be completely honest with someone without fear of judgment or rejection. You can speak and hear the truth of the Gospel to one another, and point each other to Christ!
WHAT A 1-on-1 CAN LOOK LIKE
Share what you have been reading (SOAP) in the Bible and what you have been hearing from God. Then share how you can respond to God from what you learned from the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Then hold one another accountable.
Recommended Accountability Questions for 1-on-1’s
• How has the Holy Spirit been growing you this week?
• Has anger, fear, anxiety, addiction, or another struggle shown up this week?
• Do any struggles reveal what you’re trusting in besides God?
• What truth or promise of the Gospel has been an encouragement?
• Do you need to reconcile with somebody? Are you holding a grudge?
• How have you felt yourself resisting to obey God this week?
• Is there anything isolating you from your most important relationships?