Gospel communities (GCs) are small groups within our church aimed at helping each person at Immanuel grow in his or her relationship with Jesus, experience the blessings of Christian community, and participate in God’s mission.
There are two primary environments for GCs: Fellowships and DNA Groups.
Fellowships (also called “hangouts”) are when an entire GC comes together for a common purpose. In Scripture, the word for fellowship is koi-no-nia, and it extends beyond our common understanding of the word (i.e. potluck suppers) to convey the idea of partnership and unity. Through our GCs we partner together to grow as disciples of Jesus and to make him known to our neighbors. A Gospel Community is united with a shared concern for one another and a common mission to serve and reach the lost sheep of God in our city. Gospel Communities are missional families.
Typically, fellowships happen a couple times a month (although we encourage groups to informally interact as much as they desire/are able). Sometimes the GC comes together simply to catch up, share what’s going on in life, enjoy one another, and to pray together. These times can be as simple as sharing a meal or going to a park. Fellowships will also include times of getting the entire GC intentionally serving together. This might look like spearheading a relationship with a local school and finding ways to lend a hand, doing a neighborhood outreach, or plugging the group into a local non-profit ministry. Whether a group is hosting a party and inviting in friends, coworkers, and neighbors, or serving at a food pantry, fellowships are environments for reaching outsiders and getting the whole GC on mission together.
DNA Groups are subsets of Gospel Communities aimed at discovering more of what it means to know and follow Jesus, nurturing and applying the gospel into one another’s lives, and holding each other accountable to act upon the truth by the power of the Holy Spirit. Typically, a DNA Group is 3-4 people (guys with guys, girls with girls) that get together weekly for about an hour.
DNA Groups follow a basic pattern of:
Catch up for a few minutes
Pray, then dig into God’s word together
Discuss how to apply the truth(s) you just discovered
Ask accountability questions
Pray for grace