Connection to a community gives us a sense of belonging. We feel welcome for who we are (or maybe even in spite of who we are), becoming members of something larger than ourselves. We share common goals and mutual support that push us through difficult times and provide comfort when we need it. In groups, we learn habits and take on values that become a part of us and strengthen us.
This is a chapter about groups that are small (such as Bible studies and prayer groups) and groups that are large (such as retreats, game nights, speaker series, and prayer services). We will look at some very practical ways in which you can create experiences that will welcome newcomers and support, sustain, and inspire dedicated members. We will look at various approaches in a general way, and in part IV we will look closely at things we can do to provide healing, proclaiming, and teaching experiences specifically designed for various age groups.