What is a Tribe?
The church, as envisioned in the New Testament, is a family of faith. It is made up of brothers and sisters in Christ, with God as our Father. But most local churches today quickly outgrow the typical "family" size, and therefore it becomes difficult to know and be known. Church can then get reduced to a weekly event for spectators and consumers, rather than a set-apart people who live everyday lives that glorify God as they love one another fervently.
Our vision is that every person in our church would live within 5-10 minutes of a Tribe where they can be immersed in life in community. A Tribe is meant to be more than a bible study, a small group, or a Sunday School class. It should be a smaller family of faith within the larger Friendship family.
WHAT ARE THE DISTINCTIVE MARKS OF A TRIBE?
Tribes is shorthand for Area Church Tribes. Each word identifies a key marker that we want to distinguish Tribes from other small group formats.
- AREA. Tribes are gathered by geography (by neighborhood or area), rather than season of life or affinity (common interests). This means a Tribe will be more multi-generational, more diverse, more like a family.
- CHURCH. Tribes should function like the Church, while still being a part of the church (not separate). This means each Tribe has a Tribe "pastor" who shepherds and cares for the group rather than just facilitating discussion. It also means there is mutual care, service, and generosity within the group.
- TRIBE. A Tribe carries the image of belonging. We are part of a group, a family connected to a larger whole. In the Old Testament, God's people consisted of tribes - family groups who were always connected to the larger nation of Israel.
A few other distinctive marks of Tribes:
- Made up of 10-20 people.
- Meet in homes.
- Seeking to be devoted to the same essential things the early church was devoted to: the apostles' teaching (Bible & application), fellowship (one another), the breaking of bread (the Lord's Supper & meals), and prayer.