It’s that time of year again. Every few months the PBC staff is a flurry of activity as we prepare for another round of Fellowship Groups. While you may have been involved in small groups before, I think you’ll find the groups at PBC to be somewhat different from what you may have seen in other churches. So what is a fellowship group?
First, remember, that community is not a program, it’s a reality. It’s not an event, it’s a way of life. The ordinary Christian life should include many informal opportunities to experience community. But as a church, we also need formal expressions of Christian community to foster an environment where community is normal. One way we do that is through our Fellowship Group ministry.
A Fellowship Group is a formal group of PBC members who commit to meet together weekly for three months to cultivate gospel community with one another.
When we say, “formal”, we don’t mean “rigid.” By “formal” we mean everyone is making a commitment to meet, even when it’s inconvenient. The people in that group agree to say “no” to other things in order to say “yes” to each other.
We say “cultivate,” to emphasize that Fellowship groups don’t become your community (biblical, your community should be your entire local church). Rather, they exist to create an onramp where you cultivate deeper experiences of community within the church.
So don’t think of a Fellowship Group as a time and date. Don’t think of it as only a meeting time during the week. Think of a Fellowship Group as a people—a speciﬁc group of people that happens to meet one day of the week to re-center around the gospel and to encourage one another in the Christian life. Think of a Fellowship Group as people eager and joyful to display something healthy and glorious about God and the gospel. Think of a group as a people who want to steward our relationships and take ownership of the depth and quality of our life together.