Once a quarter, the elders get together with all of the Community Group (CG) leaders for a time of fellowship and mutual encouragement. During our most recent CG Leader's Fellowship we discussed why we do what we do. The "what" part of that conversation is discussing in further detail the sermon from that week. Each CG leader takes a spot in a regular rotation creating a discussion guide to help facilitate conversation based on the sermon. We are desiring to be intentional with the application of the sermon in our everyday lives. This requires conversation. We do this through being transparent with each other for the purposes of accountability.
As the conversation progressed we started discussing how our CG's could and should connect better with each other. Most in the room expressed some level of frustration at lack of times to be all together. There was a desire to be together more, beyond the couple of church wide picnics we do during the summer. As I sat and listened to the variety of opinions around the room I wrestled with tension. It's a tension between the desire to be all together and having the available time to do so. It's a tension that surrounds the "one another" passages in the New Testament and how they are applied corporately. As I wrestled with the tension, I heard the voice of our most senior saint and CG leader remind us that, while we can and probably should be getting our CG's together more, we shouldn't under estimate the power of the Sunday corporate worship gathering. He said this is where we are "a community of communities." The more I considered his words, the more I liked them.
While it seems to be increasingly hard to get a large group of people together consistently, due to the frantic pace of life, there is always the Sunday gathering. While the main emphasis of the corporate gathering is worship, that doesn't mean that the community aspects don't happen. It's just like at our CGs, the main emphasis is community, with Bible study and prayer a typical part of that. In either case, it's not one at the exclusion of the other.
As the church, we should desire to spend time together. The more time the better. But we should never forget about the time we do spend all together on Sunday. It's then that we are a community of communities for the glory of God as well as for our good.