What do Community Groups value?
Community groups focus on applying the Word to their lives in order to become more mature followers of Jesus Christ who engage the world around them with the transforming power of the gospel.
The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ has paid the penalty for our sin and created a way for us to be in a right relationship with the God of the universe. Not only that, but God is working out the restoration of all things. When we turn to Jesus we are also adopted into a new family—the family of God. Antioch is just one little branch in this family tree, and each of our Community Groups are like families within the family. Members of Community Groups encourage each other to grow as gospel-centered followers of Christ who are being continually transformed into the likeness of Jesus. (Psalm 1:1-6; 2 Tim 3:16-17; James 1:22-24; Rom 3:23-36; Eph 6:18-20)
We are the body of Christ created in the image of God, who exists eternally in community with himself. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in relationship with one another as one God in three persons. God is a relational being who created us as relational beings so that we would image him. As a community we are to reflect the goodness of God and preach the gospel through our lives together. This means that we find spaces in the rhythms of life to live out the “one anothers” of Scripture: loving, forgiving, calling to repentance, reconciling, challenging, and glorifying God. We desire to encourage, care, and pray for one another as we live life together. We believe that God has given us one another so that we might be built up together into the image of Christ. True Christian community exists when a group of people called as disciples function in this way together. (John 13:34-35; 17:20-23; Acts 2:42-47; Heb 10:24-25; Eph 4:7-16)
Community Groups function as the mission outposts of the larger church family. We’re a community of Christ-followers who are partnering together for a common mission of advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through our community groups we strive to intentionally engage the world around us with the power of the gospel. Community groups work at finding creative ways to “bridge-build” into the lives of people and communities around them. We strive to be holistic and missional. This involves both demonstration (i.e. service projects) and proclamation (i.e. sharing our faith) of the gospel to a world that desperately needs Jesus Christ. Community groups are both internally and externally focused, precisely as God calls his church to be.
Community groups are also missional in the sense that they are intentionally focused upon making disciples. Our goal is that everyone within community groups would grow toward maturity in Jesus, and many people would be equipped for leadership. Community groups are committed to the multiplication of new groups. Groups should continually ask, “Who can we send out to start a new community group?” Our church’s commitment to missional church planting begins within community groups. (Matt 5:13-16; 28:16-20; Acts 1:8; Jer 29:7)