I sat down with Nate Navarro (a minister at ACL) this morning to discuss how we can improve the health of our City Groups (what we call missional communities). We focused on the three main areas of City Groups–Gospel, Community, and Misson. Most of the time was spent discussing Community. Here are a few things we came up with:

  1. Share your community building stories with others, leaders and other Christians.
  2. Cast vision for steady state community every week. Rehearse the four practices of City Groups every time: SHARE life and truth, PRAY for one another and the city, ENGAGE peoples and cultures, LOVE one another. Deconstruct notions of the CG being a Bible Study or Community group.
  3. Encourage families to serve as a kind of community anchor. Singles and young adults gravitate to families because they are more flexible in schedule and lack that family influence. Key families in City Groups can cultivate more community by having an open door, open dinner policy.
  4. Leader availability makes all the difference in promoting steady state community. If the leader is inaccessible during the week and weekend, it will inhibit steady state community. If he/she are available and having people over all the time, it makes a big difference.
  5. Create space for social connectivity apart from the weekly CG meeting and mission. Meeting for two or three hours a week is not Christian community. We have to be creative and committed to loving, serving, and enjoying one another throughout the week. Throw parties and invite neighbors.

Take away quote from Nate: “Our people are two beer people. Solid.”