Can We Have Community in Our Own Community?

Can We Have Community in Our Own Community?

Last fall, as their church was establishing small groups, Georgia suburbanites Bert and Rhonda thought, “Why should we drive all over the place to have community? Why not start a small group in our own subdivision?” The focus would be to provide an opportunity to engage in conversations about God, or figure out if there is a God!

The couple had already been busy building relationships with their neighbors by hosting spontaneous cookouts at the community pool. They sent an email inviting neighbors to bring a dish to share, and they provided the grill. Conversation at the pool was light and casual. As the unrest increased in the Middle East, Bert felt compelled to be sure his neighbors knew he is a Christian. So, he sent a mass email to everyone in the subdivision inviting them to the “small group.”

His creative invitation follows.

If you have religion figured out, this may not be the “small group” for you. The goal is to get a group of dysfunctional people together to know each other and explore faith. The following will not happen:

  1. No singing
  2. No altar calls
  3. No talking about others
  4. No condemnation of others

One last thing! If you choose to come and decide that it’s not for you, there is no explanation needed. You don’t need to turn off your lights and act like you’re not home, or try to come up with an excuse as to why you can’t come back. This is just an opportunity to put your toe in the water to explore faith for five weeks. If you choose to go a little deeper, then we will start to look at the Bible in the small group that follows.

The small group started at 5 p.m. on Sunday nights with a light snack followed by a 10-minute video and discussion. The study ran for five weeks at a time. Neighbors have connected. One couple with two adopted children connected with another couple going through infertility. Another neighbor, who had recently put his trust in Christ, said this was his first step in growing his faith. Bert and Rhonda goal reached their goal, which was to have community in their community!

Have you considered starting a Neighborhood Bible Study in your own community? What are some first steps you could take to make the desire into a reality?

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Michelle Coon photoMichelle Coon lives in Atlanta. She and her husband Jeff have two grown sons. On the weekends, they enjoy exploring the small towns of Georgia, hiking and finding a good farmer’s market. Michelle is an active participant and facilitator in Neighborhood Bible studies, and she is passionate about the Acrostic Bible Study Method.

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