Hey church family! I have the privilege of serving on our awesome Dream Team as our Kids Church and Growth Track Director! My husband, Josh, and I moved to California three years ago, and one of the things we have valued is the community we get to be a part of!
This past week God put the idea of "Community" on my heart. I have been thinking and praying about community, and more specifically Community Groups, which we will be launching in September. I was drawn to this verse:
“You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.” (Acts 20:20)
At Experience Church one of the repeating themes I’ve seen is that real life change happens in the context of authentic relationships. In the Bible they worshiped in the temple, but personal ministry happened house to house - in Community.
I was talking this past week with a friend who has just recently started coming to church. Someone who has had a rough first 30+ years of life and is finally finding his identity in Christ. I asked him what he thought when he first came to a community group and his response was this; “The thing I loved the most about Community Group was that I had this idea that it wasn’t a safe place and my idea of what was going to happen was totally wrong. I was able to share exactly what was going on in my life, and there was no judgement. People really cared about what I had to say and wanted to be there for me.”
This is the real life change that happens from house to house. Community Groups are a place for healing. A place to connect with others. A place to love each other. A place to grow together. And, a place to protect.
Community Groups are a place where spiritual growth happens. As much as I love Sunday’s and gathering as a whole for corporate worship, there is something really powerful and unique that happens when we gather in a small group.
My prayer this week is this, that people who are part of the church and part of the community would come together and see that God intended us to do life together. That there would be open lines of communication and the freedom to speak into one another’s lives. That deeper relationships would grow and that people would make space for community. That community groups would be a priority instead of an afterthought. God, help us to shift our focus as a church and give us maximum participation in Community Groups this fall.