Learning Objectives

We all long for community where relationships aren’t transactional but transformational. That kind of community is possible, and it’s our goal to equip and support you as you establish that kind of space on your own campus!

  • Understand what the Christian community is and its value

  • Gain a clearer sense of big-picture themes for a healthy community

  • Recognize how to improve existing community rhythms

Play Your Way

Engage with the material in your context!

  • ~45 minutes (self-paced)

    All your progress will be saved so you can resume where you left off.

  • Course Quicksheet (pdf)

    This is a quick summary of the material that you can use as a preview of the course or as a refresher once you've taken it.

  • Resource Toolbox

    See a list of the resources referenced in this course, all collected in one spot for your convenience.

Course Curriculum

  • 1

    Chapter 1: A Vision for Small Group Community

    • The Faces of Community

    • Introduction

    • Before we begin . . .

  • 2

    Chapter 2: From Strangers to Family

    • Lesson 1: It Really Can Happen

    • Lesson 2: The Art of Friendship

    • Lesson 3: Intimacy & Mission

  • 3

    Chapter 3: Community in the Life Cycle of a Small Group

    • Lesson 1: The Beginning

    • Lesson 2: The Middle

    • Lesson 3: The End

    • Lesson 4: Common Small Group Pitfalls

    • Lesson 5: Diagnosis & Next Steps

  • 4

    Chapter 4: Conclusion

    • Closing Remarks

    • Before you go . . .

Resource Toolbox

All resources referenced from this course will be linked below for your convenience to view and download. Please use/adapt these resources to what works for you in your ministry context.



Growing Authentic Community Quicksheet

(3-page pdf)

Summary of the course in a quick, 3-page format, perfect for a quick review on the go!

Difficult Conversations Framework

(1-page pdf)

To help yourself and others in your small group unravel the complexity, use this Difficult Conversations framework to help you identify the conflict so that you can take the next step forward.


Navigating Small Group Conflict

(Ministry Library page)

Conflict, when addressed and resolved, grows the group closer and healthier. Use these tips to help you lead your small group through conflict.

Group Icebreakers

(Ministry Library page)

This list of will help you get things going, whether you are leading a small group Bible Study, creating community time at a large group gathering, engaging in outreach, or other ministry activities.

Life Stages of a Small Group
(Ministry Library page)

Discerning what God is doing in each life stage of a small group and following God into that rhythm is crucial in establishing rhythms of community.

Building Community Online

(Ministry Library page)

Make online social gatherings fun with these variety of virtual meeting ideas, online games, and quick ice-breakers.


Healthy Conversations Venn Diagram

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Venn Diagram of healthy conversations that include inclusivity, deep connections, and welcome. 

Beginning Stage of a Small Group

(png image)

Key Components include community building and encounters with God. Skills include discernment and hospitality.
Middle Stage of a Small Group

(png image)

Key Components include evangelism and leadership development. Skills include invitations to faith and conflict management.
End Stage of a Small Group

(png image)

Key Components include wrapping up and future possibilities. Skills include celebration and multiplying ministry.

Stages of a Small Group

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Infographic of the stages of a small group: beginning, middle, and end.
Discipleship Cycle Graphic

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Discipleship cycle consists of Hearing the Word, Responding Actively, and Debrief and Interpret.
Intimacy and Mission 2x2

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Infographic of what a small group in terms of differing emphasis on intimacy and mission.