Archive Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Difference Between a Community Group and a Bible Study

Creekstone is launching our next, “new and improved” K-Groups in September. In order to help distinguish a K-Group (community/home group) from a Bible study, I am posting a resource from Northpoint Community Church in Atlanta. While we may not endorse every specific of this chart, it gets the point across. Ideas? Let me know below.

COMMUNITY GROUPS

BIBLE STUDIES

Fundamental Characteristics

·   Fosters deeper relationships among group members, which encourages greater transparency andaccountability during and outside of group time.

·   Protects confidentiality and encourages care of one another. A group covenant defines the parameters of the group and sets expectations of one another.

·   Smaller group size allows more interaction among members and affords the leader greater influence with group members. It also allows for more opportunities to pray together because of the intimate size.

·   Encourages social interaction outside of group time.

·   Group leaders serve as facilitatorsinstead of “master teachers”, which provides development of new leaders through a shared ownership of the material. It also gives the leader the freedom to be relational rather than focusing solely on the study.

·   Encourages multiplication of the group.

·   Helps the group to focus curriculum choices around the three vital relationships: intimacy with God, community with insiders, and influence with outsiders.

·   Childcare is home-based and, at North Point, reimbursed by the church to enable all who are interested to attend.

·   Shared ownership of roles and responsibilities cultivates and nurtures leadership abilities among members.

·   Fosters self-revelation/awareness vs. being taught.

·   Encourages accountability through consistent relationships.

Fundamental Characteristics

·   Encourages members to be students of the Word by emphasizing Bible study and scripture memory.

·   Places a strong emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge and extrapolating truth from scripture.

·   Provides a mentoring aspect, encouraging the biblical model of the older/mature believers teaching the younger/newer believers (Titus 2:3-5)

·   Provides foundational, holistic biblical knowledge.

·   Allows a lower level of commitment and a higher level of anonymity.

·   Gives people the opportunity to join or stop attending at any time.

·   Childcare is typically provided in most church settings.

·   Teaches members to be good followers.

 

Challenges

·   Finding childcare can be difficult for individual group members because groups meet in homes rather than the church.

·   Limitations on groups can mean there are fewer group options (e.g. There are often more people desiring to be in a group than there are leaders to lead groups).

·   Due to the relational bent of community groups, there can be less depth of Bible study/knowledge.

 

Challenges

·   Groups are typically large because they’re open, which allows attendees to come and go.

·   Allows for the “master teacher” format, which reduces accountability, causes increased preparation for the leader, and creates a follower mentality among members.

·   Limits the amount of relational contact and scripture application among members and the amount of discussion about life application.

·   Limits leadership growth among group members and minimizes the leader’s potential to influence future members through multiplication.

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