In Community vs. For Community

I read an enlightening quote the other day.  The author was proposing that small groups do not exist FOR community.  Instead, they exist IN community to accomplish the mission that God gave us.  Community is a key aspect of Journey Groups, but it is not the end goal of being in a Journey Group.  When a group exists FOR community

  • Strong relationships are built over time
  • People love being in the group because it is comfortable
  • There is an unwillingness to include new people because that might upset the community
  • There is resistance to the value of multiplication because that would sacrifice the community the group has built
  • There is no need for people to be stretched and develop as leaders because the group is not going to multiply so we only need the one leader
  • There is a diminishing degree of challenge and growth because comfort becomes primary

 When a group exists IN community FOR the mission

  • Strong relationships are built faster because there is an urgency and a bond around a common mission
  • People love being in the group because it is exciting and life-giving
  • People have a sense that the group is part of something bigger than itself
  • Prayers are energized by a desire to be active in God’s mission
  • People will extend frequent invitations to “outsiders” to join the  group
  • Multiplying the group becomes a celebration because it will connect more people in community for God’s mission
  • People will be excited to step into leadership so that new groups can form
  • This is an increasing degree of challenge and growth in the group because the mission stays primary

Admittedly, these two lists are slanted with a bias toward groups being IN community FOR the mission.  But I honestly don’t think we can make a case that existing FOR community brings the results of life transformation and Kingdom impact. 

As you look at these lists, which one more resembles your group?  Take the challenge to become a group IN community FOR God’s mission.  There may be some discomfort in the transition, but in the end, you won’t be sorry.


Dave Irwin

Pastor of Adult Ministries

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