Building a community of disciples on mission together
Find your home with us
LifeGroups are the heart of Trinity Central and are the best way to belong and grow our lively community. In our LifeGroups we working out what it means to follow Jesus as His disciples:
- Community – being friends together
- Worship – we pursue His presence together
- Maturity – we are intentional about growing
- Ministry – we serve one another in God’s love and power
- Mission – we’re joining Jesus in loving and serving others
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Intentionally building together
Jesus called His disciples into friendship with Himself and each other. He formed them into a community, and we believe that’s at the heart of discipleship today.
Building a community requires a few things:
- Being known
- Feeling secure enough in our friendships to be vulnerable
- Creating contexts where we encourage one another to be obedient to Jesus’ call on our lives
- Doing life together in such a way that our lives become joined.
We can’t achieve all this in a meeting: it requires living life together. We can’t achieve all this in a crowd: we need a small group of people in which to work them out. And we can’t achieve this quickly: genuine friendships take time to build.
One important thing we’ve learned: community doesn’t just happen. We either intentionally build into a community or we remain alone.
You won’t find a perfect community in Trinity Central, but you will people at all different stages in their journey working out what it means to intentionally live in community together.
An Acts 2 community
In Acts 2:42-47 we learn seven things from the early church in Jerusalem:
- they gave themselves to the apostles’ teaching
- they prioritized prayer
- they were “devoted to the fellowship”
- they worshiped together both in their homes and in the temple – breaking bread together
- they ate together “with glad and generous hearts”
Out of this devotion to one another came the most remarkable generosity with regard to their possessions
God added daily to their number those who were being saved.
This is our model for discipleship, and the way in which we do this is through our LifeGroups.
LifeGroups are 6-12 people, small enough that everyone in the group can be known. Once they grow beyond 12 we encourage them to ‘plant’ another group to keep things intimate. LifeGroups keep our church community ‘small’ even though we’re growing.
Together on a mission
Join Jesus in making disciples
Discipleship isn’t just about our growth, it is about being joined in to Jesus’ mission.
Jesus said that He would make His disciples ‘fishers of men’. That implies two things:
- that He would change our passions and priorities, and
- that He would focus us on those who don’t know Him.
We believe that, as a church, we are called together on a mission. ‘Together’ means community. “On a mission’ means we exist for something beyond ourselves.
Though we care about our needs, we’re primarily focused others’ needs, not our own. We’re passionate about working in team together to see our city experiencing the life-changing joy of Jesus’ love.
Doing life together
The point of LifeGroups is to do life together. So a LifeGroup isn’t just a weekly meeting.
LifeGroups are meant to cultivate genuine friendships – we grow together as we have fun, socialize and walk through difficulty and joy together. The weekly meeting is simply our community ‘hub’.
That weekly meeting comprises a few elements:
Community around a meal
Wherever you go in the world people grow together by eating together and sharing stories. How do we celebrate weddings, birthdays, and family gatherings? Most often with a meal. Eating together builds community.
Beyond that, the early church understood that eating together in the presence of God was itself worship. We eat together not only to build community but also to worship together. Eating together and sharing our stories each week lets us get to know each other in an authentic way. It’s a key to building deep and meaningful friendships.
Applying scripture together in order to mature
Jesus didn’t say we would be blessed if we hear His Word, but if we do it! Knowing scripture is one thing, but applying it to our lives is more challenging. A LifeGroup’s discussion is typically based on the previous Sunday’s sermon. Our goal is to move beyond “bible study” to “bible application”. We want to foster deep conversation marked by vulnerability and openness.
The preacher invests many hours in preparation: studying the passage, seeking to understand the context and meaning, and then revealing its relevance to us today. We take that investment and make it personal by applying the bible passage to our lives.
Worship and prayer
At the very heart of a Biblical community is relationship with God. Our relationship with God is personal but it is not private. We strengthen one another in faith and love for God as we worship and pray together. Often we’ll pray for God to work in each other’s lives – perhaps in healing, or for a new job.
Much of our prayer time will be devoted to praying for our friends and colleagues who don’t know Jesus. We actively seek the Holy Spirit’s gifts as we come to worship and pray, trusting Him to lead us and empower us as we care for each other and pray for God’s breakthrough in our friends’ lives.
As a community we organize things we like to do together and we invite our friends and colleagues to join us. Some typical activities include a hike, a picnic on the beach, a day of skiing, watching a movie or just taking a walk. We do life together and seek to include our non-believing friends.
We organize Alpha Courses, and pray for those we’re inviting. We’re a community on mission together: a community who deeply value the friendships we’re building with one another, but who are also reaching out to others, seeking to include them that they might encounter Jesus.