Small groups (also often called ‘cell groups’ or ‘life groups’) are groups of between 5 and 12 people – believers and their ‘un-churched’ or ‘pre-Christian’ friends – who meet each week to share their lives with each other – learning and growing together in their relationship with God and with each other in the context of mutual acceptance and love.
These groups provide a safe and intimate environment where strangers can become friends, and friends can become family and it is in this LIFE group setting that believers can discover, use and develop their gifts, enabling churches to become increasingly healthy, growing, and full of love (Ephesians 4:16).
However, it is not all about us believers!
The primary purpose of small groups – functioning as spiritual nets in the hands of God – is to see the Holy Spirit working in His power through each of us to reach out to our unchurched friends with His saving grace – in exactly the same way as the biological cell which is a basic building block of life. Healthy cells multiply themselves millions of times in the course of a lifetime. Each new cell looks identical to the original cell because the DNA branded nucleus multiplies itself before the actual cell reproduces. In this way, the first cell is as healthy and productive as the newest cell formed. The cells work together as organs, muscles, bones and skin – each part doing what it is meant to do in order for the body to function as a true miracle from God. In the same way, as each small group in your church grows it will mature and multiply – forming new small groups with a shared passion for reaching out to the lost and expanding the Kingdom of God in miraculous ways!
We believe that applying the principles of the CCI Small Groups Church Plan will enable your church to grow in health, love, and size. As a result you will see many un-churched friends, family members and colleagues attracted to the Lord and to the church, where they will taste the goodness and grace of God, which will result in their salvation and the expansion of the Kingdom of God through loving and effective friendship evangelism.
Biblically functioning small groups complement and complete the weekly large body worship celebration experience. A healthy church can be illustrated by a cake that is decorated with icing; the cake represents the place where community takes place in many small group settings and the icing represents the place where the whole community gathers together as one “large body” congregation to celebrate the goodness of God. Note: It is the cake that supports the icing, and, while the cake can stand alone, the icing cannot. Even though the cake doesn’t need the icing, both are desired … as, both parts combining together in a complimentary way is better. A wholehearted commitment to both small groups and celebration makes it possible for the members of your church to receive “wholly” from the Lord that which He has for them.
LIFE =Living In Fellowship to Evangelize!