At The Village Church, the context for community is groups. A weekend worship service here is sizable, so it’s hard in such a setting to form deep friendships or to be challenged by another brother or sister who knows you well and wants God’s best for you. You’re not likely to stumble into deep relationship there.
As a church, we have found that the best way we can help you go deeper with fewer people is to facilitate groups—Home Groups and Recovery Groups. These are places where community can form outside of weekend services. In and of themselves, groups are not explicit promises of community, but opportunities to get together with the people of God. But why should you care? Why move from the large room to the small room at all?
You’re Made for Community
You are a person. The fact of your personhood means you’re made in the image of God, who is Himself the perfect community: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So you, as an image bearer, are made to image unified community around the greatest commonality: Jesus Christ.
Maybe you’ve struggled to connect to community here at the church for whatever reason—schedules, expectations (realistic or unrealistic) or maybe just a frustration with what’s required to be in a group. I want to speak to you directly and say that it’s worth it.
The people in your potential group are fellow believers with whom you share the greatest thing in common: salvation through Christ. God made you to get together. Even if it doesn’t seem so at first, your lives intersect meaningfully because Christ has invaded your sinful life and their sinful life. Jesus has overridden the broken story you were living in, your rebellion against God, and now it’s His common story you share and encourage one another in all the more as the day of Christ’s return approaches.
You’re Dead Without Community
A great truth of the Christian life is that we all at some point face a dark night of the soul. We live in a fallen world, so we are prone to wander from the promises of God when the darkness will not lift.
We need constant reminders to combat the darkness that resides in us and around us. We often forget our true identity in Christ, and we resort to “trying on” other identities—whatever the culture is telling us, whatever our own crazy fallen minds and hearts are telling us. In isolation, we try to adopt those identities. We need other believers to remind us, “You are a son of light if you are in Christ. You are a daughter of the day if you belong to Jesus. This is your true identity.”
We need those reminders, lest we die in identity crisis. So we need people. We need community.
But that doesn’t mean it comes easy.
You Have to Work for Community
One of the perennial pushbacks against group life is that “there isn’t anybody like us here.” Insofar as this is a true statement, it couches a beautiful truth: God has created such diversity in His community. The pursuit of meaningful relationships means putting preferences and self-serving ambitions to death. In this is evidence of a heart changed by Jesus.
Christian community is not an ideal you can realize on your own or pick through like a cafeteria salad bar. Rather, it’s a reality created by God in Christ, and it’s into that reality we are called to enter. God is faithful. He will provide for you as you seek community focused on Christ. Trust Him, and lean into His call to connect with the community.
How Do I Get Into a Group?
The Village has Home Groups, made up of men and women from all generations of life, who meet throughout the week for fellowship, care, accountability and study. We host GroupConnect quarterly at all of our campuses so that you can meet group leaders personally.
We also have Recovery Groups. These groups meet for two hours each week at our campuses. The first hour includes worship through song and a biblically-based lesson or testimony. The second hour includes gender-specific small groups that address issues and struggles.
There are men and women in Home Groups and Recovery Groups who will walk with you, share their stories with you and show you that you’re not alone. They’ll tell you of Christ’s power in their own lives and they’ll remind you of Christ’s power in your present circumstances. Get into a group, and learn firsthand the gift of community in the life of the believer.