Small Christian Communities
What is a Small Christian Community (SCC)?
A gathering of people (usually 6-12) that:
- Pray, listen and reflect upon Scripture together
- Share ways the Word of God relates to one’s life experience and connect everyday life with faith
- Take on responsibility for living as Church in the world
- Encourage and support one another
- Serve others, fulfilling the call to discipleship.
It’s an experience of the larger Church at the smaller level.
Small Christian communities (SCC) form to support members of the church who wish to be in an intimate and ever-deepening relationship with Jesus. Also known as Faith Sharing groups, SCCs represent a way for you to know Jesus, grow in your faith in Jesus by the study of His Holy Word. SCC groups demonstrate their discipleship through service to each other, our parish, and the surrounding community.
Nativity Catholic Church supports SCCs with on-going mentorship of group leaders, spiritual development opportunities, and providing resources for our parish communityto use in their on-going faith sharing. Groups can be formed in order to meet only during specific liturgical seasons (Lent and Advent), and also can form for on-going mutual support.
From one SCC member, “My small Christian community meets every two weeks to read and reflect on the upcoming Scripture readings for Mass. We ponder God’s word and share what meaning His Word has for each of us. We use His words to see how our faith and life are going… how well we are traveling His path, and where we need to listen better to His call and plans for us. I depend on my community to share how God is calling them. Their call often shows me how God is calling me. My small community helps me feel more closely united to my parish. We often attend parish events together and see each other weekly at Mass. Together, we make a difference in each other’s life and in the community by serving others in need.”
Small Christian Communities are not:
- Bible study groups though Scripture is an important part.
- Counseling groups but they can be therapeutic.
- Prayer groups although prayer is the foundation.
- Social groups though relationships and caring are essential.
- Teaching groups but catechesis (faith formation) is an essential element.
- Justice groups although they work to transform society.
What is Faith sharing?
Faith Sharing is a process in which we relate the story of the people of God with our own story. We draw a connection between how God has acted - as seen in Scripture, creeds, liturgy and history and how God is acting to draw us closer to God in our own lives. Our personal history; our relationship with the Church; our gifts and vocation; and the context of our lives, with their relationships, responsibilities and opportunities, are reflected upon in faith sharing.
One of the wonderful things about faith sharing is that there are no “right” answers. When we share faith we are sharing from our own experience. Members share what the readings say to them in reference to their own lives.
How will this benefit my life?
- Deepening of relationships with God and others
- Challenge to grow as a person.
- Deepening one’s commitment to family, work, neighborhood and community.
- Support in living as a follower of Jesus Christ, working to transform society.
How will the parish benefit?
Parish life studies show that Small Christian Communities yield long-term benefits. Parishioners are:
- more interested in on-going catechesis; pursuing Scripture study taking the call to discipleship seriously,
- more likely to assume parish responsibilities and enter the pool of potential parish leadership, and
- more involved in evangelization and outreach.
Who should join?
Anyone who wants to grow as a person of faith: adults, young adults, youth and families are invited to participate.
Small Christian Community Leadership Training
For Small Christian Communities to be a viable structure of the parish, leadership is key. The Diocesan Office of Evangelization and Lifelong Faith Formation offers training for parish core communities, parish staffs, pastoral councils and small community leaders in parishes with existing SCCs and for parishes wanting to begin SCCs, that may have no structure in place. Contact us to present a session created just for your needs!