WHAT?

When Peter told Jesus that he loved him, Jesus asked Peter to feed his sheep. Jesus consistently commanded—not asked—his disciples to love one another, just as he loved them. Intentional Christian Community goes beyond mere social fellowship as we extend radical grace to ourselves, our neighbor, and the stranger.

As part of Intentional Faith Development, a disciple seeks to create community with others in the same incarnational ways that Jesus did. What does that look like?

Community can come in many different forms. It can be experienced in a small group, a neighborhood, a shared residence. Most of all true community will:

  • Be a safe space to show your true self
  • Give you freedom to grow and a landing spot when you fail
  • Invite you deeper into the heart of God and give life, not take it

Christ-like Community has several distinct hallmarks that we see from Jesus himself:

Hospitality        Forgiveness  Humility        Self-emptying Love Sharing        Truth-telling

 

“…what our Lord left behind Him was not a Book, nor a creed, nor a system of thought nor a rule of life, but a visible community.”- Lesslie Newbigin, Household of God

WHY?

Although Methodism began as a movement of small groups, churches today are often too eager to start groups or classes without actually trying to create true community within them. Just signing up or showing up will not grow you as a disciple of Christ. How can your local church help foster Christ-centered community in homes, in neighborhoods, or on campuses?

 

HOW?

Reading Resources

Small Groups & Community

  • The Class Meeting: Reclaiming a Forgotten and Essential Small Group Movement by Kevin M. Watson
  • The Big Book on Small Groups by Jeffrey Arnold

 

Missional or New Monastic Communities

  • Longing for Spring: A New Vision for Wesleyan Community by Elaine Heath and Scott Kisker

 

Doing Resources

  • Missional Wisdom Foundation- a non-profit organization based in North Texas which focuses on practicing Christianity through a lifestyle of hospitality, prayer, and humanitarian work in local neighborhoods.
  • Covenant Bible Study (Cokesbury)
  • Companions in Christ small group curriculum (Cokesbury or Upper Room)

 

If you have questions or would like to further explore these Stepping Stones to faith development
please contact Rev. Amber Massingill by phone (817-877-5222) or email (amber@ctcumc.org).