Throughout God’s Word, we see the consistent principle of God’s people gathering together. God does not just want us to gather in large groups; He wants us to gather in small ones as well. A few things jump out from Acts 2:42 and 2:46. The church was devoted to their leaders, devoted to the teaching, devoted to fellowship, devoted to prayer, and devoted to meeting together in homes. At CRCC, we call these meetings, CARE Groups.
Our Care Groups are critical to the discipleship process at CRCC. They help us “know Jesus” because:
- You learn to love others; that is what disciples do! "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (Jn 13:34-35)
- You learn the Great Commandment (Matt 22:37-40). “Four of the Ten Commandments deal with relating to God; the others six deal with relating to others; all 10 are about relationships!”
- You learn to prioritize relationships and fellowship. When it is all said and done, our relationships are what we will value the most. “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Gal 5:6)
- You learn to express love through the use of time. Time is your most precious resource. Whatever and whoever you value most will get your time. “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”
- You grow through being connected. In several Scriptures, the Bible says we are “put together, joined together, built together, members together, heirs together, fitted together, and held together, and will be caught up together!”
- You are less susceptible to backsliding because of relational accountability (Heb 3:13). “Mind your business” is not a Christian phrase.
- You learn to experience life together; this is God’s plan (Ac 2:46). The local Body, like our bodies, is a collection of smaller cells. This is where real community takes place. You can worship with a crowd but you cannot fellowship with one!
- You experience the growth-producing benefits of biblical fellowship:
- Authenticity. Real friendships develop that move beyond superficial platitudes. Only when we can get “real” does real growth and healing occur (Jam 5:16).
- Mutuality (giving and receiving). You learn to both serve and be served.
- Sympathy. We all need to know someone cares and will come to our aid (Gal 6:2).
- Conflict & Restoration. True growth and covenant occurs when we can repent to one another. “If you can’t recall having said a genuine ‘I’m sorry’ in the past month, you’re probably not leading well or building biblical community.”
- You learn that real community requires commitment (Ac 2:42). A commitment to honesty, consistency, humility, and courtesy, confidentiality just to name a few. These are essential traits for a disciple.
- You learn that community is not built on convenience (“we’ll get together when I feel like it”) but on the conviction that it is required for spiritual growth and health.
Phase two of our Vision process is becoming active and consistent in your Care Group. Jesus said His disciples can be identified by their love for one another. Small Groups facilitate this by helping you “learn to love.” We also believe the things you will learn in the Word and through prayer will build you into a faithful follower of Jesus Christ.