Creating a Contagious Community

In this series we’re exploring how to lead dynamic small groups for the sake of the student world. Below is adapted from a chapter in the new workbook Small Groups: Big Mission.

The student church must respond to the ache in student society for real community and for authentic friendships.

‘Community’ is more than a buzzword, it is foundational to the wellbeing of every human being, yet loneliness is the biggest felt need in our universities today. Through small groups we have a pathway to build community in student culture that is inclusive and draws people to Jesus.

Jesus modelled missional community with the twelve disciples. Jesus knew that how he acted would be reproduced in the church as the disciples lived out all that he said and did. The disciples belonged to the group before they fully understood who Jesus was. Jesus prayed for and with his disciples, and taught and modelled community values through his sociable and, at times, controversial lifestyle. How can we create this kind of dynamic community?

There are six tips to building community outlined in a chapter of the workbook Small Groups: Big Mission.

Read three of the tips here:

1. Ask questions

Questions when directed at us, show us that we have been noticed. Have you ever longed for someone to ask you a question and to take an interest in you? When we ask the right questions of others we start to communicate that we care. Asking the right question is only the start, it also needs to be accompanied by attentive listening, which opens the way for vulnerability. You could break the ice of deeper questions by using the Discipleship Deck.

2. Show approval

Approval is a powerful way of showing that we love a person, it doesn’t mean we agree with everything they think, say and do. It is tempting in our culture to flow with the values of mainstream culture in the name of ‘inclusion’. Jesus somehow managed a third way that was radically inclusive and yet called people to change.

3. Embrace inconvenience

To create the sort of rugged, robust, loving community we are talking about means that we must learn to embrace inconvenience and see it as an opportunity to show our commitment to people and build community.

Our new workbook Small Groups:Big Mission is out now. We recommend going through the content with leaders and students. The Fusion team deliver small group training empowered by the Holy Spirit, prayer and dynamic content from the workbook.