Peninsula Community Church
Getting Connected – The Rewards of Living in Community
September 9, 2012
Today and for the next four weeks I want to speak to you about the initiation of Connect Groups which will be our Small group ministry here at PCC. This message series will in essence be a vision casting series so that we can all be on the same page and understand where we are headed with small groups as a ministry of the church.
Today we will look at the reasoning and the blessing of small groups within the church. Let us read together Acts 2:44-47 as one of many scriptures that focus our attention on Connect Groups.
Act 2:44-47 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Life is to be lived out in community – Notice some particulars in this passage. First of all they believed together and they had all things in common. The first point I would like to make is that church happens in community. We are a community of believers and therefore we are called to meet together, fellowship together, pray together, grow together and do ministry together. That has always been God’s plan.
If you read the creation story you will note that from the beginning God made it clear that it was not good for man to dwell alone. Mankind needed to be in a relationship with others. Not much has changed since that time as mankind continues to have a need to be in relationship. It is not by chance that the church is represented by the marriage relationship in Ephesians 5.
Solomon recognized the value of relationship and community when he state “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him–a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
In community we have the opportunity to meet the needs of others – The second thought expressed in our verse today is that it is in community that we understand the needs of those around us. It is in community that we can begin to find ways to meet those needs physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Note that in the New Testament church, they had all things in common. They were a sharing group of people. If they saw a need they found ways to meet those needs. Most often it was through the power of prayer, counsel and the Word that the needs were met.
In community fellowship occurs and relationships are built – The third thought expressed in this passage is that while they met in the temple which is important, they also focused on meeting together in their homes where they broke bread together and fellowshipped together. The problem with meeting in the temple is that we usually spend no more than one and one-half hours together. It is difficult to build relationships in that time because of the format of the Sunday service. But in smaller groups you get to know one another and you will learn who they are by name.
In community people celebrate the life of God’s blessings – The fourth thought in this passage is that had a positive response. They received their food with glad and generous hearts. They were praising God and they were finding favor with the people around them. One of the key elements of a Connect Group ministry is that people will be given the opportunity to share their answered prayers and the things they are learning on a personal level.
Through community the church grows – The final thought is that they saw the Lord adding to the church by way of them meeting together both in the Temple and in small groups. Because we will seek to grow the groups we will see the church grow and the needs of the church being met as we grow.