So, we talk about "groups", but why and why are they so important?
We have an expectation that as a person grows in the faith through living a devoted, connected and generous life they will eventually yearn for more involvement in Christ’s mission.
Our primary method for discipleship will be gathering in groups. We believe participation in a group grows one in faith and the Church. Since Jesus’ original small group of twelve, groups have provided the most effective transfer of the faith because they offer relationship, mentoring, experience and encouragement as they equip.
We, as a Church, have identified four distinct types of groups: community, support, growth, and ministry. These will be consistent for adults, students and children.
A community group is a collection of individuals, led by a leader and an apprentice, who meet regularly to study and apply God’s truth while doing life together. The group is typically organized by stage in life or geographic considerations. The group has no specific day or time, no end date and is committed to the care for one another. The desire is the community group will meet in homes but can meet in the church. The leadership emphasis is raising new leaders who will go on to reproduce new groups.
A support group is a gathering of individuals who meet around a specific life need. The group is expected to include all who suffer whether from within the church body or the community. The groups are on-going with no predetermined ending date. The groups typically meet at one of the church locations. An example would be our recovery or cancer survivors groups.
A growth group gathers around a specific topic to learn more about their faith or add a skill, in the hope it will enhance their faith or the faiths of others. A growth group can also form to equip the body of a corporate need or objective. The group has a specific beginning and ending date. The group will typically operate for 6-12 weeks. Growth groups can meet either in the church or outside. An example would be a Bible study or parenting course.
A ministry group gathers around a specific mission/task of the church or the community. It can be for a season or a single day. The group’s objective is to complete the task and then disband until needed again. The groups can meet in a home, at the church or in the community. An example would be Common Thread or the Helping Hands / FareShare ministry.
Goals for any group:
* Develop devoted, connected and generous Christ-Followers
* Connect the unconnected
* Reproduce Leadership - both groups and leadership