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Community

Are you in community?

God designed his people for community. God’s mission for his church includes a commitment to community. Every Sunday we gather as the church to hear and respond to the good news about Jesus, but then we scatter as the church to demonstrate the good news of Jesus. We invite you to take your next step - from a row on Sunday morning to a circle in community. A Community Group provides a context for our discipleship with one another and a place where disconnected people become connected. Small groups provide the necessary context to cultivate gospel-centered relationships through regular and intentional gatherings throughout the community.

We offer both regular Community Groups (long-term) and Connect Groups (8-12 week Community Groups designed for those who want to try a group out with a short-term commitment). If you have additional questions, feel free to email as at groups@peninsulabible.org.

Click on the following links:

 

Community Groups

A Community Groups is a place where people are connected and grow together. Community Groups feature the following characteristics:

  • Welcoming: We seek to demonstrate the hospitality of the gospel by welcoming others into communities of people pursuing Jesus together. "Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." Romans 15:7
  • Developing: We seek to grow as disciples of Jesus by developing communities of people who grow in their understanding of each God and each other. "Go therefore and make disciples" Matthew 28:19
  • Sending: We seek to exist not for our own sake, but for the sake of others. Each group has opportunities to serve together and multiply to launch new groups. "As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world." John 17:18

 

Connect Groups

Connect Groups are 8-12 week Community Groups designed especially to connect those who are disconnected to the life of Peninsula Bible Fellowship. Connect Groups feature the following characteristics:

  • No pressure: Because they are short-term, everyone’s new to the Connect Group. You won’t need to feel like you’re walking into the middle of something.
  • Community connection: Groups are designed to provide instant connection for people simply not possible on a Sunday morning. Connect Groups provide a context to build relationships, accountability, and friendship.
  • Gospel-centered: The good news of Jesus is the basis for all that we do. Groups meet to connect together, explore faith in Christ, and experience the benefit of gospel-shaped community.

 

Some FAQ’s

“Is a Community Group the same as a Bible Study?”

Er…no. While the two are not mutually exclusive, the primary difference is intention or the primary purpose for existence. And this is somewhat reductionistic, but Bible studies intend to inform the mind by the study of scripture whereas Community Groups exist to form community by the application of scripture. A Bible Study is successful when I relate better to the Bible; a Community Group is successful when I relate better to someone in a gospel-centered way. Many Bible Studies will also include community formation and many community groups will include a study of scripture. At Peninsula Bible Fellowship, both are critical to the development of our discipleship. But it is the intention of Community Groups to form...community.

 

"Are children invited to Community Group?

Childcare is handled individually by each group. Several options are possible - groups could decide to hire a babysitter, rotate a parent each week, have an older child from the group watch the younger children, or handle childcare individually.

 

“There are many different types of groups, why should I prioritize a Community Group?”

Different groups serve different purposes and are important at different times. But one thing is clear, we need to be cultivating community with others. As a church, our mission is to “Welcome, Develop, and Send” and Community Groups have the unique advantage of reflecting all three values.

 

“I don’t feel like I have need for a Connect/Community Group?”

You may not, but others sure do. You may already have a group of people around in regular and intentional ways, but others haven’t gotten that opportunity. Furthermore, in a Community Group you have the possibility of being around people who are not like you. Think about it, if you are only doing life with people who are similar to you, how much do you think you will grow? Being around people who are different from us gives us the opportunity to grow in unique and helpful ways.


“Won’t a Connect Group (and constantly inviting others) interfere with the growth and depth of relationships I’ve already developed?”

It does present a challenge. However, we hope people who have grown close together will continue to interact and communicate. Some people in our church haven’t even had the opportunity to have these sorts of relationships, so we hope others will sacrifice some to make this happen. Furthermore, we hope that having seasons of “open enrollment” will encourage less interference and more participation in a shorter period of time.

 

“What if I don’t gel well with someone in the group?”

Although some bad experiences require immediate change, some are simply times where the Lord is growing us to love and serve people who are not like us. We need to be careful when we long for some ideal community. As Bonhoeffer wrote: ‘Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest, and sacrificial.