It may be overly dramatic to say that God lives as a small group, but the church has historically described God as Trinity, three persons in one. In any case, the creation account presents both divinity and humanity as communities of being and action. God is described as existing in divine community, in dialogue with other members of the God-self, an intracommunicating group who also created humanity to exist in group intracommunication. God created and addressed humanity as community with community, as group with group. The divine community has existed in intercommunity with human community from the beginning. Three areas of dialogue and community are established from the beginning: within (intra) God’s group self, within (intra) the human group and between (inter) God’s group and the human group.

The human community is created as male and female, a reflection of the image and likeness of God.3 Male and female together is intrinsic to the address of and receptivity to God. In order to reflect this full community of God rightly, both men and women must be together in human community. Men together in isolation from women, or women together in isolation from men, are not community reflective of divine community. So creation mandates human community as men and women together. Together they are given charge over creation. Together they were created to be in partnership with their Creator who also exists as community.

From another perspective we could say that, from the beginning, God existed in community as group being in creative action. From a historically classic trinitarian view of God, the divine group existed as three persons in conversation and mission. The Genesis account does not initiate an immediate trinitarian understanding of God, but does affirm a community of God in action through creation. Since this community is reflected in “image” and “likeness” on the human side as male and female together, we can extrapolate that God exists in plural being of at least two persons. Classic theological history understands God to be revealed as three: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Ray Anderson, in On Being Human, clarifies this historical temptation of theology to move too quickly from the plurality of God to a classic trinitarian model.

Gareth Weldon Icenogle, Biblical Foundations for Small Group Ministry: An Integrative Approach (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993).