“Pastor, what is my next step?”
This is a big question for people both in the church family and especially for those who are initially showing an interest in our church. Implied in the question is how can I connect better with God and with His people.
You may have recently heard something about the 4 types of small groups. These levels are not new. We have always had them, but now we have given them a descriptive name.
90 Groups are short-term, first-step, sermon discussion groups for connecting new people into the life of the church following Thursday evening and 9:30a Sunday worship.
180 Groups involve short-term, topic-based training such as marriage enrichment, parenting, values, and financial management.
270 Groups focus primarily on Sunday School which uses a set curriculum, The Gospel Project, in all classes with teacher input, while stressing member discussion and application in a circle. Member and family care will be emphasized. Each adult class will commit to an outside class mission project(s).
360 Groups are home-based discussion groups that share life together. The end-goal is to make disciples of Jesus as evidenced by regular worship, Bible-centered study, consistent giving, ongoing service and witnessing. Each group will develop strong relationships, practice accountability, care for members and their family, and pray for the lost. They will also target a missional group for ministry aside from the normal meeting time. These are discussion, not teaching groups.
You may be thinking, “Why all this talk about groups? What is the big deal?”
The big deal is that groups matter. “Research has shown that groups remain one of the most effects tools for learning the habits of faith.” (Facts & Trends, Eric Geiger, “Different Groups, Different Starting Points, p. 13). Studies show that people in small groups “pray and confess their sins more regularly, share the gospel more confidently, give more generously, and serve more sacrificially than those not in a small group.” (Geiger, p. 13)
So, if you are not in a small group, why not! Is it fear of checking it out? Is it your schedule? Is it uncertainty over how people will accept you?
I encourage you to take the plunge and join a Sunday morning Bible study class and a 360 small group. It can be life-changing, spiritually nourishing, and deepen your obedience to the Lord Jesus. Get your brochure at the Connection Center in the lobby today.