Where are disciples made? In one sense the answer is, “everywhere!” Making disciples of all nations means that the gospel is to go forth throughout every people group. Then, where are disciples made at Redeemer. Well, in the North-Central Twin Cities. That is the scope of our efforts. But, where does this actually happen?
This question is important because the Great Commission needs a home. It requires a space in which people who desire to love Jesus dwell together for mutual benefit and growth. At Redeemer we call this space the Community Group. It is that context in which people feel free to carry the sorrows and joys of following Jesus into relationship with each other, and to help one another along the way. It is where honest, biblical community happens.
Each Sunday Gathering begins with a call to worship, in which two things happen. First, the spiritual state of those being called is highlighted. Meaning that in this call participants are reminded that Jesus welcomes those who are weary, mourn, have sinned, and wander. Second, those who are called hear, from a Psalm, about who it is that calls them, and what he has done to provide entrance into his kingdom. It is this reminder that validates and authenticates the welcome.
We believe that the Community Group is where this welcome becomes real to the individual. This is the space in which you experience the reception that we have in him, the church community is where the gospel becomes visible. Meaning that how one gains a greater understanding what it is like to live in communion with Jesus is by bringing himself or herself into gospel community.
Community Groups typically range from 8-14 people, which is a strategic range of numbers. Too few people can cause groups to become insular, more suited for an ongoing Bible study with no outward focus and lacking an emphasis on welcoming in others. Too many and it becomes impossible to know and be known.
Here at Redeemer we see three rhythms that summarize what it looks like to be a disciple of Jesus Christ; Remember, Rejoice, and Relate. Often groups will practice remembering the redemptive work of God by sharing testimonies, reading the word together, or working through questions related to their walk with Jesus. Groups will also rejoice together, sometimes processing highs and lows from the week, singing together, or praying through any issues that arise in the group. And groups move towards orienting around relating the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
Which means that Community Groups are meant to be a place for inviting those in your life who are coming to Jesus. As you bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the places you live, work, and play, bring those in whom God is actively working to your group that they might experience the welcome from Jesus Christ.