Resources for Developing
Small Christian Communities
Outreach is the mission of every Small Christian Community
Let’s look at the role of friendships in ministry. In 2 Timothy 4:9-17, Saint Paul is unhappy about losing some of those with whom he’d been sharing the work of evangelization, and he is looking forward to others joining him. Psalm 145:10-18 reminds us that we do not tell the glory of God’s kingship alone: “Your faithful ones (plural) bless You.” In Luke 10:1-9, Jesus is sending His disciples into ministry in pairs.
God designed us to need community. We experience Him most fully through others, and the more “others” we have in our lives (i.e., others who share true faith in Christ), the more we receive whatever we need from God. Most of the time, God provides whatever we need through people. When was the last time you needed a hug and Jesus appeared to you in the flesh in your living room? Were you ever in need of extra cash to pay some bills and God floated dollar bills down from the sky onto your back yard? I’m still waiting for Him to call me on the phone to listen to me as I sort out how to best deal with my problems.
However, God did not design us to need community solely for our own benefit. He provides whatever others need through us. Community is a balanced, two-way experience. We are neither to neglect others in their needs nor reject others in our needs.
Finally, God designed us to need community for the sake of continuing Christ’s work in the world, just as we see happening in today’s Gospel reading. God hand-picked who would be in your Small Christian Community so that you would fit together as a team who could serve the world’s needs. It’s no coincidence nor is it any accident or random placement who your community members are. There is a much bigger plan going on than just saying getting together once a week to share your thoughts on the scriptures.
What common interests do you have? What gifts and talents does your community contain? What do you and the others like talking passionately about on how to make the world a better place? Become a “dream-sharing” group! If Jesus joined your meeting to ask you all to get involved in a special project, a mission, or an outreach of some sort, what would each person imagine He might say?
Enjoy the discussion! Anything goes as you toss ideas and dreams around. Nothing is too absurd to verbalize in front of friends. You’re not committing to anything, at least not until a few of you jump out of your seats whooping it up with a great big, “Let’s do it!”
There IS something for which God has brought you into each other’s lives. It could be just a plan for your mutual benefit, but what if He has a bigger idea in mind? What ministry would you share?
© 2000 by Terry A. Modica. This is part of a set of resources for Small Christian Communities, available at no charge to parishes. Use the request form in the link below.