Group Design

Let’s get practical! Deep Spirituality takes intentionality!

It also takes a simple and reproducible model.

What does a Community Group feel like? What does a leader do each time? Where do you meet? What about kids?

Basic Structure

We can't answer all these questions here, but let’s start with a Community Group's basic structure. At a very basic level, the group time is split up between fellowship, time in the word and prayer, and accountability to our mission. The following is a basic structure to follow each time, and normally a group processes through this each time. (However, you may discern on a given night to adjust this or go a different route altogether. That being said, that is the exception, not the norm.)

  1. Start with prayer (simply have someone open in a brief word of prayer)

  2. Read through the Mission Statement as a reminder of why we gather.

  3. Share time (burdens and accountability to mission)

  4. Go to the Word (sermon discussion guides)

  5. Respond to God’s word (based on your time sitting before the Lord and reading His word, how are you specifically called to respond?)

  6. Benediction - Read through Critical Actions as a reminder to live into each of these in the coming days.

This approach is simple, but it is also very intentional. Anything that we do in life that is repetitive has compound interest over long periods of time.

Reasons for this:

  1. Consistency sets expectations. People like to know what they are getting into.

  2. Each area is essential and leads to holistic healing for each person and even the group. Skipping a section will break the chain of growth.

  3. Circling back to the mission each week and accountability from a prior time in the word and prayer, hold’s God’s message to us at a high standard.

  4. It communicates care and concern for each person’s growth.

Brief Explanation of Each Element

Start with prayer. This sets the tone for the time together and acknowledges that unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain. Practically it is a call to start. Your group will get accustomed to knowing that when someone prays, that means that it’s time to begin.

Mission Review. Mission drift is the number one reason why groups become stagnant or worse, fail. This is a simple reminder that each time we meet to remember why we are meeting. It can also be beneficial for guests to have a reminder of what they are participating in. Don't fear awkwardness. Make it fun. Have someone different read it each time. See if people can remember various aspects of it from memory. See if any of the kids remember.

Share time. This is a brief time to allow any who wants to share a burden with the group they are struggling with. The deeper the relationships, the more open and transparent this time will be. This is also the time to circle back to prior weeks or times of response that you are walking your people through. When Sally commits to reading the Word 3 days last week, at the next meeting, ask her if she was able to experience. This isn’t a time to scold, as other people will fail here too, but it is a time to see how the group can help her succeed in reading more.

Danger! This is where groups can get derailed. Give people a time limit or instructions on keeping this brief. There is always time after group to go even deeper into an issue. Some people may love letting this go long, but it will cut into the time in the Word, which others have very high expectations for. A group can dwindle fast by not keeping this time brief and purposeful.

Go to the Word. Here we have discussion guides prepared each week to help guide discussion time and lead into the final section of response.

Response. Once the discussion guide leads into a time of reflecting on applying God’s Word, give some space to circle back to anything that was mentioned or shared. This is an opportunity for an individual or the group to respond to a message from the Lord.

Benediction. Leave with a missional mindset. It is too easy to forget that we are going into the mission field each day. Remind your people to not forget. The compound interest of this and the mission statement, along with a hospitable and word saturated discussion will be amazing to watch.


  1. Write down what people are committed to or ask prayer for. This is the best way to remember and help them grow.

  2. Be prepared to share something yourself. You must lead by example, and having something to confess or having a goal to set yourself demonstrates your humility and your needs for growth as well.

Go to the Next Session

At the end of the day, we are inviting people into our lives, and they are letting us into theirs. This is more than just a meeting; it's an intertwining of individuals and families. This is messy, challenging, and fun all at the same time.

Community Life exists because if believers belong to a family on mission, they will live in joy and confidence serving Christ.

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