What kind of church are we? Well two weeks into the series, we have given you three words. The first is the most essential – “A Christ-Focused Church.” This past Sunday, we gave our attention to being connected and united/uniting. All good words and better ideas. We really are better together. That’s how we develop meaningful spiritual relationships. That’s how we tend and care for one another. That’s the way we learn and learn to apply the Word. That’s how we stay accountable. That’s how we join together to make a greater Kingdom impact. In short, that’s how God designed us to be.
After church on Sunday, we hung around to learn more ways to do life together. Kudos to Randy Deering and the folks who set up shop to promote Life Groups. Let me say a word about the importance of those and how they fit into our overall design for gathering. On Sunday mornings, we have several Bible Study groups. We need to develop some more, as we want to have a place for everyone to plug in regardless of age or stage in life. Some of these groups function as a Life Groups, doing life together on an ongoing basis. Others join for regular Bible study or for a theme study that may last for a given amount of time. Randy’s “40 Days in the Word” is a good example. As these entities grow, they will inevitably give way or give birth to new classes as we meet the needs of as many people as possible.
The segment we featured Sunday was Life Groups, a coalition of several folks who meet regularly through the month, usually weekly or bi-weekly. This is a great way to stay connected to each other, the church, and to the Lord. Typically these groups are arranged by age, but not always. People who make the commitment to be a part of these groups will no doubt find their whole faith experience and life enriched by it. We have a good number of these and are open to creating more. Add to these categories ministry groups and service groups. Folks who pray together, like the High Noon Prayer Group on Tuesdays. There are also recovery ministries like Grief Share, DivorceCare, and Celebrate Recovery. Other groups gather to serve, like the volunteers for Family Promise, our Food Pantry, and House Rangers (providing light help with home projects for our church family). There are many more, and more are forming all the time.
Here’s the thing to know: everybody needs to be connected somewhere, someway, with somebodies beyond the Sunday worship experience. That’s how we grow spiritually. That’s how we grow closer. That’s how we grow the impact of our ministry. That’s how we grow the Kingdom. That’s how we grow the church. It matters beyond my poor ability to write and speak about it. You will hear much more about that in the days ahead. And while we may sound a bit redundant, it’s because we believe it matters so much. If we are to be a better, stronger, deeper, richer, more impactful church in the next year, it will be because we have gotten this right. So make your grouping a priority. Do whatever it takes to make room for more. Release leaders from your own groups to start and strengthen others. And tell it over and over and over. We are better together. Connected. United. Uniting. Take your pick. Pick them all. Just pick your place and people and get going grouping.
See you Sunday.