The third transformational loop described by Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer is labeled Engage. It contains three elements, the second of which is Community: Connect with People.
The church must have a process (organic and/or systematized) by which believers are connected to one another and growing in Christ. Today’s church needs to experience a methodological regression to the early church of Acts 2.
The point of this transformational practice is that believers join their lives for the purpose of maturing in the faith and engaging in God’s mission.
Living in community creates a “safe zone” where unbelievers feel comfortable asking hard questions and believers feel comfortable finding the encouragement they need for growing in the faith.
Values That Support Small Groups
- A smaller number of people provides a greater opportunity for personal discovery
- Smaller communities are just that…communities
- Small groups are the best way to genuine life change through the local church
- Your current small group configuration is permanent
- Small group meeting locations are limited to church facilities or member homes
- Your facilitator must be a highly trained spiritual superstar
- Small group organization must be complex
- Only pastors are qualified to administer pastoral care
- Smaller communities deliver deeper friendships
- Smaller communities deliver accountability relationships
- Smaller communities deliver environments for spiritual growth
- Smaller communities deliver maximum participation
- Smaller communities deliver missional opportunities
- Transference of information is valued much more than life transformation
- Teaching is valued more than learning
- When they become a reflection of past practices
- Segmentation of the mission of God
- Lack of intimacy
- Missions orientation
- Word-driven mentality
- Multiplication mindset
- Stranger welcoming
- Kingdom focused
Next: Engage - Mission: Show Jesus Through Word and Action