Why Community Groups?
Our vision at Northwest Hills Community Church is to be One Family (John 17:20-21), pursuing One Passion (Mark 12:30-31), reaching out to All People (Matthew 28:19-20). We want to make a difference everywhere and we do this by saturating the world with servants.
In order to be “One Family, pursuing One Passion, reaching out to All People,” we believe it is necessary to be in intentional relationships with one another that will move us towards following Jesus.
What Are Community Groups?
A Community Group is a committed group of people who are mutually intent on becoming obedient to all that Jesus commanded. Community Groups are open to anyone who expresses and demonstrates this intent, no matter where they are in their walk with Christ.
A Community Group is not simply a Bible study or primarily a social group. Rather it is a group of people who live out the mission of God together in community through regular gatherings for food, fellowship, accountability, serving, study, prayer and outreach. Community Groups serve to mobilize the church and to connect people to one another to share life and grow together.
Community Group Core Values
Our desire is to have only a few core values associated with Community Groups, and to encourage as many of the following to the extent possible.
The primary source of study material for the Community Groups is the Bible. We strongly encourage study, discussion and application of the previous Sunday’s sermon. We learn from what was preached, and most importantly we apply it to our lives. By relying on the Bible and what has been taught, we overcome the cultural desire to “lean on our own understanding”- Proverbs 3:5.
Community Groups pray. They pray for one another, for the church and its leaders, for the lost, and for everything else that comes up in life. Through the practice of prayer we overcome the culture of independence from God, and one another as we share life’s joys and trials together.
In Community Groups, relationships are built so that members can encourage one another to follow Jesus, pray together, share and serve together, and live life together. And in order to do those well we place a high value on enjoying one another’s company. So finding a gathering environment that fosters these types of relationships is very important. Typically this has been found around the dinner table in someone’s home.
First, members of Community Groups encourage one another in some basic disciplines and obedience to basic commands that lead to full joy in Christ (Bible reading, personal prayer, praying with a spouse, serving one another, etc.). Second, through trusting relationships and without coercion, individuals can participate in accountability for areas of sin in the context of small subgroups of the same gender. Both types of accountability are accomplished with grace, in a non-legalistic and non-competitive way. We hold one another accountable to overcome the culture of apathy and to purposely move toward our objective to say “yes” to Christ, no matter what.
Members of Community Groups encourage one another to serve the church generally, in specific ministries and in their areas of spiritual gifting. They also serve as a group to bless someone in need and to build community. We serve others to overcome the culture of selfishness and self-centeredness.
1 Peter 2:9, "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." We have been called and commanded to share Christ to the world. At the core of these groups is a desire to see them grow as we reach out to those around us.
What to Expect?
- Regular gatherings of 8-12 people, usually over a meal at someone’s home.
- These groups are specifically NOT Bible studies. While the Bible will be taught, mere knowledge about the scripture is not the point of a Community Group. Rather the APPLICATION of God’s Word to our lives will be emphasized.
- A facilitated discussion about God’s Word and how it applies to our individual lives and specific contexts (Usually following the previous Sundays sermon).
- Time for sharing any needs or struggles and prayer for one another.
- Accountability through relationship.
- Serving your local community together as a group.
- Identify, equip and release new leadership to lead new Community Groups.
How to Join?
- Fill out the Community Group Sign-up Form.
- Fill out a Connection Card and note that you want to join a Community Group.
- Contact any pastor or leader.
- Email Pastor Josh or call the church office 541-758-7688.
- Talk to someone who is in a Community Group and join theirs.