A Change in our Small Group Strategy
Acts 2:42 says, "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." We believe that this verse indicates the necessary components of healthy church life. In addition to our corporate worship on Sundays, including preaching and the ordinances of baptism and communion, this verse indicates Christians should be devoted to the apostles' teaching (which is recorded for us in the Bible), fellowship with other believers, and prayer throughout the rest of the week too.
We have been incorporating these three things into our church's life between Sundays for the past several years through small groups we called "Hubs," which met during the evening for potluck dinner followed by intentional biblical discussion, prayer, and gender-specific "Breakout Groups" designed to help people get to know one another and care for one another on a deeper life. Hubs have been a great and meaningful part of our church life ever since the Gathering started meeting!
Recently, however, we have been finding that Hubs are not one-size-fits-all and do not work well for families. They are great for people without young children, but it is difficult for those who do have kids to get the whole family out. In an effort to be more accomodating, we are making our small group ministry more flexible and changing the name of our groups from "Hubs" to "Fellowship Groups" in order to reflect the broader mandate of these groups moving forward.
The three main components that we expect all Fellowship Groups to incorporate are: food, the Bible, and prayer. Beyond that, we are leaving the expectation of how Fellowship Groups operate up to the individual groups. So fellowship groups may look very different from one another, in terms of the time that they meet, the format of the meeting, the length of the meeting...etc. But they will all share these common ingredients: food, the Bible, and prayer.
So for those who prefer the traditional "Hub" format, groups are welcome to continue meeting intentionally on a weeknight for potluck dinner, intentional sermon-based discussion, prayer, and gender-specific "Breakout Groups." However, other groups may decide to meet on a Tuesday morning, or a Sunday afternoon, and take a more casual approach to the meeting.
So keep your eyes and ears peeled. More details will follow. But let's all begin to prepare our hearts and minds for another great year of "gathering around the gospel, for God's glory and our joy!"
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