Cornerstone

​​“The church...will always be full of sin and brokenness, but it is also a place with the power of the gospel to guide us and empower us to love one another...”

“The Bible does not command Christians to participate in Community Groups, so why does Cornerstone have Community Groups?”

This is a question I hear a lot, and a question that is incredibly important to answer. It is true that the Bible does not command community groups, and they are a program that has been designed by man, not by God. But I believe strongly in community groups for these reasons:

  1. The Bible is full of commands for how Christians are to treat each other in the local church. Many of these commands are known as the “one anothers”. There are over 50 one anothers in the New Testament, and each of them requires a relationship with other believers. In a church of 50 or 100 or 200 or more it is impossible to live out all of these one anothers with every person. How could any one saint bear the burdens of 100 other people in the church (Galatians 6:2)? The commands themselves require a focused attention to a certain group of people, and Community Groups help facilitate that.
  2. Many of the one another commands in the New Testament also require a certain depth of relationship. If Christians are called to exhort, correct, and rebuke one another in gentleness and love (e.g. Hebrews 3:13) then we must be close enough to one another to see our sins. Similarly, if we are called to forgive one another (Colossians 3:13) then we must be close enough to one another to sin against each other. The New Testament doesn’t picture the ideal church to be without issues. The church is a place that will always be full of sin and brokenness, but it is also a place with the power of the gospel to guide us and empower us to love one another and be reconciled. This messy, gospel-empowered community with depth cannot happen in groups of 200, but can happen in Community Group-sized communities. 
  3. Another element of these commands that is instructive for us is that they are to be practiced habitually and regularly in the community of the church. We are not called to forgive each other once or twice, but in a continual manner. We are called to practice gospel-empowered community with regularity (Hebrews 3:13). The regularity of relationships in Community Groups allows us to better and more deeply know each other, but also to regularly and purposefully be a part of each other’s lives.
  4. Finally, local community groups allow Christians to display their love for one another to the neighborhoods and communities around them. One of the most powerful witnesses to a watching world is the love that we are called to have for one another (John 13:35). In a large gathering this can be easily faked (though that obviously is discouraged). In small settings, diverse groups of people who live life together powerfully put this kind of love on display. Community Groups allow the outside world a window into the love that we are called to have for one another, particularly as we bear with one another, forgive one another for our sin, exhort and encourage one another to grow in Christ, and love one another with a genuine heart.

I love Community Groups because I believe they help facilitate in our cultural context the vision that the New Testament gives us for how the church is supposed to live. If you are interested in connecting in one of our community groups, contact me: matt@cornerstonewla.org

Matt Kleinhans

Matt serves Cornerstone by overseeing Family Ministries.

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