A healthy church is an integration of heterogeneous and homogeneous fellowships. Heterogeneous fellowship is a multi-generational Corporate Service; a gathering of a mixture of people from diverse backgrounds of cultures, age and professions. Homogeneous fellowship refers to similar or common grouping of these characteristics: language, age, culture, interests, professions, status, skills, and dwelling place. Our Care Groups are structured with homogeneous principles in mind.
Corporate Service is more celebration oriented with less interaction between members and depends mainly on leadership direction and input from the pulpit. Its success would depend heavily on its high praise and worship, followed by the preaching of the Word. Other elements are more of supportive roles. We need Corporate Service to impart a bigger picture.
In a healthy church, Corporate Service is simply a gathering of various small Care Groups. Therefore, a strong and healthy church should evolve from the growth of these various Care Groups. Benefits of gathering together as a Care Group are many:
Intimacy. We get to know each member and visitor by name, as well as knowing each other’s talent, needs and challenges. Therefore, we can better customize our programs and activities, making them relevant to the group and individuals. In a big Corporate Service of hundreds or thousands, it is not possible to cater for the needs of every individual. Our Lord Jesus Christ often spends time privately with His inner three as well as with the twelve disciples (see Matt.10:2-4; 17:1-2).
2.Participation. In a small group, everyone has a chance to share and contribute to the overall growth of the group according to their respective talent. No one should be left as a spectator! In our Care Groups, we aim to create ministry or project that best matches the talents of each member. The early church sets a pattern of small group gathering in a home environment as well as in the workplace (see Ac. 2:42-47; 18:3 1 Cor.16:19).
3.Leadership development. By being on the job, leadership is reproduced (see 2 Tim.2:2). In fact, anyone who desires to serve at the pulpit during Corporate Service should first be proven at Care Group level. At Care Group, we can observe the character of the members before we appoint them to bigger responsibilities.
We want to build a strong church that is made up of many small self-reproducing multiplying groups. If you come to church for Corporate Service, be sure that you are also connected with a Care Group that will best help you to develop and unleash the potential within you.
It is not whether you have the time to commit to a
Care Group; you cannot afford not to join one, unless you do not want to grow into maturity of Christ.
Care group is the fertile ground for you to practise and further develop all that you learn from the Corporate Service, seminar or conference. Do not just be a Corporate Service Christian! Let’s help each other
to be strong through our respective Care Groups:
24We should think about each other to see how we can encourage each other to show love and do good works.
25 We must not quit meeting together, as some are doing. No, we need to keep on encouraging each other. This becomes more and more important as you see the Day getting closer. (Heb.10:24-25, ERV)
By Dr Peter & Dr Abby Ting