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Small But Mighty

God seems to like using small things to do big things. The church plant is finding this to be true as we roll out our small groups. Small groups (or connect groups in GCI language) are smaller gatherings where people can learn about Jesus, do the things that Jesus did, and/or get to know other people better in a more intimate setting. Small groups are not only a great way to disciple believers, but they are an effective way to connect with those who do not identify as Christian.

In 2022, we successfully facilitated several small groups. Some of the groups were inward-facing, meaning that they focused on discipleship and equipping. And, some of the groups were outward-facing, meaning that they were focused on witnessing and getting to know our neighbors. One of our first small groups was called Learning How to Live Sent. This inward-facing group centered on the book Surprise the World by Michael Frost, which helps readers develop personal missional rhythms. Churches will not be able to participate in the work Jesus is doing in our neighborhood and in the lives of our neighbors as a congregation if believers are not personally reaching out to those around us. This small group also provided participants with training on how to launch a small group.

Our next group was called Creating a Safe Space to Talk About Race and it was outwardly-facing. This four part workshop gathered people from the Steele Creek neighborhood online to discuss how race came to be in America, the impact it has had, and how we can heal racial divisions. The church plant is looking to repeat this group in 2023 and expand the group's impact. An inward-facing workshop series called Pursuing a United Humanity was developed to explore the same material from a Christian perspective. This new small group will launch at the end of January 2023.

Not all small groups deal with such weighty topics. The church plant has a small group that centers around the augmented reality game Pokémon Go. An outward-facing group comprised of neighbors from the Steele Creek area gather online and in person to play the game. Because Pokémon Go encourages teamwork and real-world explorations, it is perfect for helping people connect. The leader of the group has had many opportunities to deepen his relationship with those in the group.

The church plant has several groups already set to launch in early 2023. We have found our neighbors to be very receptive to what we are offering and the inward-facing small groups have helped us to grow spiritually. We look forward to the fruit God will bear through our small but mighty groups.

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