We’ve discovered that sustained spiritual growth does not happen in an environment where people simply sit in rows, listening to messages in complete anonymity. Sustained growth takes place where people are personally challenged and encouraged in their relationship with God and with others. – Andy Stanley
On our staff team, we talk a lot about how Community Groups are the backbone of our ministry.
It’s how we measure success – “how many got plugged into CG’s thru Cru?”, “How many got in a CG thru our first 4 weeks outreaches?”, “How many freshmen are involved in CG’s?”
Why? BecauseÂ It’s where life change happens. And it’s where students come to Christ.
On our campus, the vast majority of students consider themselves “Christians”. So the typical student has been inoculated to the gospel and is now resistant to the real thing.Â It takes a semester (or longer!) of hearing the gospel of grace taught and discussed for it to really hit them – “I’m not aÂ Christian – I’m just a moralistic deist.” And it’s usually not a one time “conversion experience” but a gradual sinking in.
We’d rather have 100 people in Community Groups than 300 at our weekly meeting.
I usually say something like this at the first Cru meeting:
9 times out of 10 you’re not going to be able to grow in college unless you do it together with friends. If you don’t have friends that help youÂ process what it looks like to pursue God in college, you’ll really struggle with how to work what you’re learningÂ about God into your life. Unless you have some friends who are a couple steps ahead of you spiritually — and a couple friends right with you spiritually — and a couple friends behind you spiritually — you won’t grow.
That’s why we say – If you’re not in a Community Group, you’re not in Cru. I would highly recommend you checking out a Community Group — try it out. Commit to a group for 4-6 weeks. Give it time — time to connect with the others in your group. Process what you’re learning about God together with friends. Let’s do this together. Â [basically an adaptation of part of a Tim Keller sermon]