WHEN AND WHERE DO COMMUNITY GROUPS MEET?
Community Groups meet on various days and nights of the week. Some meet in homes, while others meet in a public space or even in the church facility.
WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY COMPONENTS OF A COMMUNITY GROUP MEETING?
There are 3 main components at each meeting: CONNECTING together, STUDYING together, and PRAYER/WORSHIP. There is flexibility in the timing and order of these elements as each group develops its own unique identity. There is also opportunity for creativity in worship and service as groups gather together.
ARE COMMUNITY GROUPS BIBLE STUDIES?
YES, and more! Traditional bible studies tend to place a high value on study and information. Community Groups include study, but highly value life transformation over simple information gathering. This means that leaders will place a strong emphasis on relationships and group interactions.
HOW ARE GROUPS ORGANIZED?
We believe that groups work best when people share common interests or values. At the same time, we also value diversity of ages, marriage status or backgrounds. Rather than simply dividing by geography, we want people to join groups because there is a natural desire to connect together. This relational connection is what keeps groups meeting together.
HOW LONG DOES A COMMUNITY GROUP LAST?
Community Groups are an ongoing ministry, with intentional rhythms built into the yearly calendar. We meet during the fall, winter and spring for approximately 10 week sessions. Our hope is that people choose to stay in the same group during the entire year, but there is freedom to move during different ministry seasons. We take a break during the summer months.
WHAT DO GROUPS STUDY?
Most Community Groups are sermon based groups that study the scripture and theme from the previous week’s sermon. This is considered a “Lecture-Lab” model. If the sermon is the lecture, then the Community Group is the lab where we roll up our sleeves, discuss and live out how this works out in our lives. Each week there is a MESSAGE GUIDE to be completed before the next Community Group meeting. This is freedom however, to do a different pre-approved study.
WHAT ABOUT BEING ON MISSION?
It is our desire that each Community Group develop a natural inroad toward outreach or service into the local community. This should be distinctive of each Community Group, as each group is made up of different individuals with different passions and experiences. Our desire is not only to huddle together, but for Community Groups to have an outward mission mindset.
WHAT ABOUT HOST HOMES?
We highly encourage having host homes. This shared leadership makes a powerful team and spreads out the responsibilities. Not only do host homes provide a place to meet, they also provide feedback and support for the leader. Added responsibilities of hosts might be organizing meals for group members who are in need. Community Groups are also welcome to be creative in the places they meet, as long as the environment allows for good interaction and discussion/learning.
WHAT ABOUT CHILDCARE?
We believe that children are a blessing from the Lord. We also believe that having children who are present can be a distraction and therefore can limit authenticity. Each Community Group will need to discuss childcare and what will work best for that particular group. Some Community Groups include the kids in some of the activities, and other times it works best for families to share a sitter or to swap childcare with another group.
HOW DOES A PERSON GET INVOLVED WITH A COMMUNITY GROUP?
There are several avenues to getting involved. One way is through personal invitation which means that there is already a relationship in place. You may know someone in a Community Group and then ask if you can join their group. Another way of connecting is to contact the Community Group leader directly. Or maybe you want to investigate launching your own Community Group. Or you can simply click on the "GET CONNECTED" tab below.