Benefits of Hosting a Community Group
ACC will be starting a new Community Group season in September. Community Groups are gatherings of 5-12 people who meet regularly in homes for prayer, Bible study, and Christian friendship.
We are looking for church members who would be interested in leading a group and for others who would be willing to open their home to host a group. (Sometimes people will both host a group and lead it, but this is asking a lot.)
My wife and I have hosted groups in our home for years. Here are some benefits to doing this that we have discovered.
- Hosting a group helps you keep your home clean. I love living in a tidy environment, but I do not love day-long housecleaning projects. Hosting a weekly group helps us keep on top of our household chores so that our apartment stays (relatively) organized.
- People bring you yummy goodies when you host a group. We’ve enjoyed lots of delicious leftovers from food that group members have brought to our home.
- Hosting means you don’t have to travel to join a Community Group. This sounds selfish; doesn’t it? But, when a group meeting ends on a frigid winter night, it’s nice, as the host, to know you don’t have to go out into the cold.
- Hosting a group provides new opportunities to interact with your neighbors. Sometimes neighbors notice “all those people” coming out of your apartment every week. Sometimes the group’s diversity (in age and ethnicity) makes it especially eye-catching to others. Queries about the group from observant neighbors can provide great opportunities to talk with them about your faith and to invite them to the group.
- Hosting a group addresses one of the deep needs of our souls – to know and to be known. When people come into our home we feel that they get to know us better. They see our family photos, our stacks of unopened mail, our sinks full of dirty dishes. They learn a little about who we are. Usually people respond by letting us know more about themselves. What’s the result? We end up with new friends. Over the years, people we’ve come to know through group meetings are among the dearest friends my wife and I have had.
- Hosting a group gives you a chance to practice the ancient Christian discipline of hospitality. The New Testament frequently instructs Christians to offer hospitality to others. (See Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9.) But in today’s busy world, it is not easy to find opportunities to practice hospitality. Hosting a group meets this need.
I hope I don’t paint too rosy of a picture. Hosting a group is not for everyone, and there are times when it is demanding. But, in our experience, group members are very understanding when the host needs a week off. Some groups will share the hosting responsibility among several members so that no one needs to open their home every week. Other groups only meet once or twice a month, so hosting is not always a weekly chore. But, even with its drawbacks, Sobeyda and I have found that hosting Community Groups has brought great joy into our lives.
If you are interested in hosting or leading a Community Group at ACC, please let me know.