“Because sometimes what the Bible calls “church”
happens best in small groups”
Church – Jesus Style
“Church” isn’t just a place. Nor is it simply a club for moral expression and instruction. Biblical “Church” is people who’ve engaged God in a personal relationship and who share a certain level of partnership in the lives and faith of each other. Biblically, here is what the Church that Jesus builds will look like:
- A group of people who share foundational beliefs and vision and purpose of life. (Matt. 16:18)
- A group of people BUILT into a family that truly cares about, and assists each other in their Christian journey (Matt. 12:50; Rom. 12)
- As a result, non-believers see glimpses of Jesus through the family (John 13:35; 17:21).
As recorded in Acts 2, the early church met both in larger gatherings as well as in small home settings. Their major focus was: Teaching the Word, Prayer, Fellowship, Breaking Bread together, and Praise.
As they then devoted themselves to these five priorities, the Lord continued to grow the church, and do miracle changes in many lives. And as they continued in these things, they found themselves more and more equipped and useful in daily life ministry.
Sunday Church is “Partially” Awesome
By design, our larger Sunday services emphasize Teaching God’s Word & Praising God. We’re blessed with a Worship Team that loves to worship, and with a Pastor and leaders that love and teach God’s Word.
Thus, we grow in our knowledge of the truth and in our expression of praise. We become “partially” equipped…but there’s still more.
Sundays are awesome, but if that’s all, we’re still missing a big part of God’s practical plan for us as part of His “church.”
MiniChurch Helps Fill In The Blanks
MiniChurches are small informal groups meeting weekly in homes, a park, etc., where individuals can become a family that cares and shares in life and ministry together..
The heart of MiniChurch is Fellowship & Partnership as we discuss Sunday’s teaching (stressing practical application), as we break bread (snacks), as we pray for and with one another, and as we just have fun together. It’s a place to connect as friends and share in each others joys, hurts, and spiritual life. It’s where we grow in living out “church.” It lasts around 1&1/4 hrs.
MiniChurch – Helping The Family In Partnership
God’s design for “church” is that we actually become spiritual partners (like having stock) in each others growth and life.
Note some of the “One Another” passages in the New Testament that express the kind of family life the Bible calls “church” As with the early church experience, most of these things happen much better in small groups – in the MiniChurch!
- Be devoted to one another (Rom. 12)
- Build up one another (Rom. 14)
- Admonish one another (Rom. 15)
- Greet one another (Rom. 16)
- Encourage one another (Rom 12)
- Stir-up one another (Heb. 10)
- Confess your faults to one another (James 5)
- Pray for each other (Jas. 5)
- Fellowship with each other (1 John 1)
- Be hospitable to each other (Rom. 12)
- Serve one another (1 Pet. 4)
- Comfort one another (1 Thes. 4)
MiniAnswers to MiniQuestions…
Q – If I missed Sunday service, can I still go to MiniChurch?
A – Of course. Even though you missed the study on Sunday, you still need the fellowship & you’ll pick up a good summary of Pastor’s teaching as well.
Q – Can I bring friends who don’t go to Church?
A – Absolutely. Their heart is probably hungry for Jesus and for fellowship too!
Q – Will I have to pray out loud?
A – You’ll never be forced to pray, though you’ll have the opportunity to.
Q – How big can the MiniChurch get?
A – Most small groups start losing their closeness growing to 12-15 people. Thus, when it gets to about that size, the MiniChurch will multiply by dividing and starting another one. The new Leader will come from the existing MiniChurch.
Q – Is MiniChurch a long-term commitment to a group?
A – Yes and No. Though the group will grow, multiply, and undoubtedly change, the commitment is to the body of Christ and the vision and overall ministry purpose of the Lord. That commitment may well carry you to be a part of many different MiniChurches over time.
Q – Is it OK to switch MiniChurches?
A – Definitely. If family needs arise or schedules change, go to the group that best works for you. MiniChurches exist for you – not you for them!
Q – Can I still attend Calvary and NOT go to Minichurch?
A – Of course. You’re always welcome at both “Big church” and at “MiniChurch”!
MiniChurch…providing an opportunity for people:
- To discuss God’s Word and learn together
- To make friends and encourage each other in our Christian walk
- To do the “work of the ministry” – i.e., minister to one another
- To reach out to friends who might not come to the regular “church”
- To multiply (as did the early church!)