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Small Groups Doing Big things

One of the best ways for a congregation to connect with its neighbors is through small groups (also known as connect groups). They can be organized around any topic and run between 4-8 weeks. These gatherings of 5-25 folks provide wonderful opportunities for people to build authentic relationships with each other, which is often the first step in a person coming to know Christ. It should be said that, we do not set out to build relationships with our neighbors with an ulterior motive to convert them into believers. We get to know our neighbors simply because they are made in the image of God. We believe that we are the sent people of God, participating in what Jesus is doing in the lives of those around us. So, we believe getting to know our neighbors is part of how we follow Christ. As we follow the Holy Spirit and go into our neighborhood, we know that he can move in our midst and draw people to Christ if he so wills. Plus, getting to know our neighbors through small groups is just plain fun!

Conducting small groups is a major component of the church plant’s strategy and we can already point to some encouraging outcomes. Beginning in mid-March, Stacey and Robert Meade hosted a series of four games nights in their home for people in the neighborhood. Around two dozen people participated in at least one of the game nights, with several of them demonstrating continued interest in the church plant and/or its upcoming events. In late April, Michelle Fleming and Pastor Dishon began leading seven participants through a small group experience titled Knowing Yourself: Bearing Fruit. This discipleship exploration helps participants understand how God grows us up spiritually and how we can participate in the work God is doing to make us fruitful inwardly, in the community of the church, and in the world. Similar to the Games Nights, at least two participants, who were not already committed to the church plant, showed greater interest in connecting with us.

Some of the small groups that will soon launch are: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, a group that will go through the book of the same name written by Peter Scazzero; Creating a Safe Space to Talk About Race, a group that seeks to promote racial understanding and healing; and, Learning How to Live Sent, a small group organized around the book Surprise the World by Michael Frost and aimed at helping believers develop personal patterns of connecting with their neighbors. Members of the Steele Creek community will be invited to participate in all of these small groups. We look forward to connecting with our neighbors in these meaningful ways. Please join us in praying for the success of our small groups.

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