Almost everyone belongs to one small group or another. Whether it is a football team, a book club, or simply a group of friends meeting for a drink, as social creatures we feel the need to talk, to share and to belong. It makes sense that this feeling of belonging, of community, translates to our parish life.
Many churches have wonderful events bringing together the whole parish, allowing people to mix and feel part of God’s family. Small groups (communities) allow for a closer relationship with God and each other, where life in the Church is not confined to one day a week or even a particular Mass time.
Small groups (communities) can benefit the parish and the individual in a number of ways. Meeting to share your faith as part of a group helps, in a very real way, to deepen faith and fellowship with other Christians. In groups of 8-12 people it is simpler to understand an individual’s needs and gifts. Through small groups we pray, share and learn together, grow in faith, knowledge and understanding and find support and opportunities for service. Through them we gain confidence to share our faith with others and work together for the good of others less fortunate.
Pope John Paul II wrote that such groups ‘are a sign of vitality within the Church, an instrument of formation and evangelisation’ (Redemptoris Missio, 51).
Your participation in a faith-sharing group will enliven your personal faith and help you to share it, becoming the evangelist we are all called to be (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 58).