The Metropolitan Bible Church

Authentic Messenger, Authentic Gospel

Speaker: Jonathan Griffiths, Lead Pastor
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2017
Audio: Listen
Notes: Read
Questions: Study
Video: Watch

Top Ten Questions

1. How much of my time is this going to take?

Most Community Groups meet at someone’s home for Bible study twice a month for about 2 hours. One hour is for snacking and hanging out, another hour for Bible study. Most groups also have a regular time serving the community and a regular social gathering. Many people also choose to spend leisure time together: sharing meals, playing sports, and even vacationing together.

2. What are we going to do with our children during community group?

Each group has a unique way of involving their children in CG. At the MET, we would love to see the family coming together and we don’t want Community Group to be another night where the family unit is broken up. That being said, we understand that different groups and families will have different seasons of life. Here are some strategies for children that groups are using:

  • Include children in all aspects of the group, including study and prayer. 
  • Children attend pretty much all group events. The children stay with the adults during informal discussions, meals, and prayer. During the Bible study, the children go in a different room for a different activity. Children are supervised by a parent or an older child, sometimes on a rotating basis.
  • All the children meet at a different home than the home the parents are meeting at. The children are supervised by an older child (or the last couple to arrive has to watch the children next week!)
  • An unrelated youth can babysit. The youth can get volunteer hours and receive money towards summer camp at the end of the school year.
  • Parents arrange their own childcare at their home. 

3. Will there be homework? If so, how much?

Most studies do not include any homework. Some groups may decide to do a particular study that includes doing specific Bible readings during the week, reading part of a book, or listening to a sermon. The whole group agrees before going ahead with a study that requires preparation of this kind.

4. Am I going to have to talk or can I just sit and listen during meetings?

Community Groups are like families. There will be some occasions where you mostly listen, and some where you may want to do a lot of talking. No one is forced to talk or facilitate, but rather each person is welcome to move at their own pace.

5. Will I have to pray out loud?

You will not be forced to pray out loud. Groups do take time to pray together, but you can choose to pray silently or simply listen. If there comes a time where you would like to share a prayer request, that would be welcomed. If there comes a time when you would like to lead in prayer, that too would be welcomed.

6. Who else is going to be in the group?

Some groups start off by the group leader gathering friends, neighbours, and acquaintances, where each person might know one other person in the group. Other groups start with a group of interested people in the same region who have never met. Groups are based around neighbourhoods, so the people in your group will be those who live close to you and have an interest in growing closer to God in community. Most groups are co-ed and intergenerational, so there will be a mix of people of different ages and stages of life.

7. How much do I have to know about the Bible?

You don’t need to know anything about the Bible to take part in a group. Everyone attending is learning more about God and the Bible, it is a place to ask questions and share learning - it won’t be a place for debate or testing. CG is a great place to grow in your knowledge of the Bible!

8. How many weeks or months is this group going to last?

Community Groups are like family; some last for years, while others replicate and start a new group within twelve to eighteen months. When a new group starts, everyone agrees to try out the group for about 8 weeks. After that, there is an opportunity to step out or commit to the group moving forward. We ask that each group have an apprentice leader who will be sent out at some point by the group to start a new group.

9. If I don’t like it, can I leave without people being mad at me?

Yes, but most people build close relationships within their groups and don’t want to stop being part of the community.

10. What are we going to be doing during our meetings?

Most Community Groups meet at someone’s home for Bible study twice a month about 2 hours. One hour is for snacking and hanging out, another hour for Bible study. The study portion usually relates to the previous Sunday’s sermon, though some groups may choose to do a different study.

Groups also include serving the community & social gatherings into their meeting rhythms. Serving the community looks different in each group. Some groups volunteer with a local high school, others make sandwiches for The Mission, and still others spend time with the elderly. Social gatherings are meals or other times spent together to grow in relationship. Often these gatherings are open to friends, neighbours, and family members who might not otherwise attend the group.

Adapted from: Connecting in Communities by Eddie Mosley and North Church

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