Back to the Basics: Small Groups
We have spent the last several weeks talking about 2017 being the year in which we get back to the basics of being the church. Being the church is more than a Sunday meeting. We are the church twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and fifty two weeks a year. At North, we get together for Sunday Gatherings and in Small Groups weekly.
Our mission is “growing together as disciples and going together to make disciples of our neighbors and the nations”. And at North Church, we grow together and go together in small groups.
We have three different types of small groups for adults at North. Gospel Communities meet throughout our city in homes, apartments, restaurants, coffee shops and breweries. Participants get together to study the bible, pray, share their lives, serve the city and to be sent out as missionaries to their neighbors. Women’s Ministry and Men’s Ministry groups meet seasonally to grow as servant leaders. Lastly, Redemption Groups also meet periodically to experience freedom from sin and suffering.
We also believe that all ages should be involved in “growing together and going together”, so we have age appropriate groups. North Niños meet every Sunday during our Gatherings for children aged 18 months through 5th grade. Together they sing songs of praise, study God's word and pray. Icon, our student ministry for middle school and high school aged youth, meets every Wednesday night from 6:00-7:30pm. Students worship, study the Word, pray and serve together in large and small groups.
With those options in view, let me share with you four practical ways to participate in small groups this year.
Open your bible. The bible considers spiritual formation to be both an individual and group project. There are countless passages that speak to followers of Jesus in the plural “you”. Also, many passages call for our faith working in “one another” type actions. Small Groups will help you to be faithful in what you think, feel, speak and do.
Open your mouth. Small Groups are the perfect place to share with others the important things you are learning about life with Jesus. Your faith was never intended to be private. It must be shared with others to be vibrant. Especially with other christians.
Open your ears. Small Groups are also the perfect place to listen to what others are learning. Some of my most important life lessons have come from other’s insights into the bible. You need others more than you realize for your own benefit.
Open your life. Small Groups, in many ways, aren’t a destination but a journey. In other words, the weekly Small Group gathering is a launch pad for building deep and lasting relationships. We hope that your very best friends in the entire world are fellow members of North Church. And we think those friendships will be built and nurtured through our Small Groups.
Open your eyes. We desire to serve the city. We also want to send the saints across the street to our neighbors and around the world to the nations. We want to “go together” in making disciples. Small Groups are the perfect place to pray and discern together Jesus’ call to join him on his mission.