8 Building Blocks of Real Community

 1.  Frequency – Relationships take time, specifically time together.  The more often your group meets, the more opportunities you have to develop real community.  If you can meet every week, do it.  But always try to meet at least every other week as a life group.  Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

2.  Authenticity – There are levels to fellowship.  First, we share.  We share about our families, jobs, and school.  Next, we study God’s Word.  We learn together about who God is and what He wants for our lives.  Another level of fellowship is serving.  When we serve together, we grow together towards a common mission.  Finally, suffering is the deepest level of fellowship. When someone in your group goes through tough life circumstances, your group has an opportunity to grow in authenticity.  Another way to promote authenticity in your group is to confess your sins to one another.  James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

3.  Mutuality – Develop accountability relationships in your life group.  Encourage and honor one another.  Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  

4.  Cultivated Courtesy – Listen before speaking.  Understand where people in your life group are coming from.  Most people don’t want to be fixed; they want to be heard.  1 Peter 2:17 says, “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” Romans 14:1 says, “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.”

5.  Humility – Humility is being honest about your weaknesses, not denying your strengths.  It is about giving God the praise for the work He does in you.  Humility is saying two words:  Forgive me.  It has been said, “Don’t think less of yourself; think of yourself less.”  1 Peter 5:5 says, “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders.  All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

6.  Honesty – Most people do not have anyone who loves them enough to be honest with them.  When we are honest in the midst of conflict and see it through, genuine community is produced.  Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”

7.  Mercy – God didn’t give you what you deserve.  Give your group member what they don’t deserve.  Offer mercy.  Colossians 3:13 says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

8.  Confidentiality – The quickest way to kill your life group is by gossip.  What is said in the group stays in the group.  Exceptions are only for major issues such as criminal activity or abuse (ie. substance, physical, sexual, emotional).  Proverbs 16:28 says, “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”

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