THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we were never meant to live the Christian life on our own. We were created in the image of a relational, triune God. Even in the perfection of the Garden of Eden, God declared that it was not good for man to be alone. Throughout redemptive history, God calls out for himself a people, not just a number of individuals. From the family of Abraham, to the nation of Israel, to the New Testament church, God brings people together even as He brings them to himself. From the first to the last, the Bible teaches that we were created for community.
COMMUNITY GROUP PHILOSOPHY
As a church, we recognize that community is a vital part of the Christian life and we want to encourage our people to develop deep relationships within the body that will allow them to “know and be known.” Pastor and author Timothy Keller said, “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” As believers, we have the unique privilege to help others understand the love of God by simply loving each other unconditionally. That is amazing!
Everyone needs a place to call “home.” We all need a place where we can share the joys and struggles of life and be real. Because of that, the purpose of Community Groups is to create environments where people can encourage one another in the context of hope-filled, authentic relationships. Our desire is that true and lasting friendships would evolve out of these groups. We hope that the people who are in a Community Group will not just get together because the church leadership told them to do so, but that they would begin to integrate their lives and really do life together! Close friendships take time to nurture, but the investment is worth it. We think a great place for this to happen is in a Community Group.
GROUPS FOR ALL AGES
Currently we have groups that were meeting in the following demographic sets:
- 18 through Late Twenties
- Late Twenties through Early 40's (many with young children)
- Late 40's through Early 60's
- Middle School Girls
- Middle School Boys
- High School Girls
- High School Boys
COMMUNITY GROUPS FAQ
· How often do Community Groups meet? Each group will determine its own schedule, but we would recommend meeting 1-2 times per month. Meeting more than that would limit someone’s ability to connect with other important parts of the church, and connect with people in the body outside their group.
· How long do Community Groups meet throughout the year? We have seen that the shelf life of a Community Group is about one year. Because of that, we run our Community Groups from September through August each year. After that year, if people want to stay in their same group, they can simply re-sign up for it, and if they want to change groups or not be in a group, they can decide that as well.
· What happens when a Community Group gets together? Because the purpose of Community Groups is to develop relationships, we would recommend eating a meal together, playing fun games, having conversations, or enjoying an activity together.
· Do Community Groups go through a Bible study or a curriculum when they get together? As a church, we love when our people open the Word and/or pray together. There is freedom to do this anytime your group feels led to do so. However, Community Groups should not feel the pressure to be a place of deep study/discipleship. We hope that conversations within our groups would naturally gravitate toward the goodness of God and testimonies of the ways He is working in our lives, but there are no expectations of having a Bible study or curriculum to go through when you meet, but there is freedom to do so if desired.
· How do I get connected to a Community Group? The best way to get connected to a Community Group is by knowing someone who is a part of one. The MCC Team can help you get connected, but our experience tells us that when the church leadership places someone into a group where they don’t know anyone, it can be very awkward. Because of that, we think that it is much more natural to get to know people at a church before trying to enter a group. This seems to make for a more natural transition into a group and people tend to “stick” at a higher rate.
· What if I don’t know anyone yet? If you are new and want to be a part of a Community Group, the MCC Team can help you get connected to one. However, we would encourage you to check out our Quarterly Calendar, which is full of ways that you can begin to meet people who are part of the church, as well as grow in your faith through a variety of discipleship and outreach opportunities.
· What if I am not ready to join a Community Group right now? That is totally fine! We recognize that every person/family is in a different season of life. We hope that you will find other ways to begin getting connected at MCC through Sunday mornings, the Quarterly Calendar, volunteerism, and other events.
Because Community Groups are so important to us, we want to remove any obstacles that would keep people from participating. In order to allow group members to participate without distractions, we ask parents with children still in the home to arrange childcare for their own children. This allows groups to make the most of their time together. It also allows us to support and strengthen the marriages of MCC. Couples will be able to spend some intentional time without the kids — they could even make it a date night and grab dinner or coffee after the group meeting.
Because we want to support marriages and enable everyone to participate in Community Groups without obstacles, MCC will reimburse families for their childcare expenses. This is limited to $25 per family, per group meeting.
If you are interested in joining or learning more about Community Groups at MCC, please fill out the Community Group Sign Up Form.