ALONG THE JOURNEY
BY MARK WILBANKS
Most of us get it. We know that church is supposed to be more than buildings, programs, and activity. We read the stories in Acts about a growing community of believers who intentionally found ways to gather in fellowship, worship, and prayer.
In adopting the Mission and Vision initiatives, we agreed that “developing authentic relationships with God and each other” had to be more than a catch phrase; we had to pursue connecting with people and with our God more intently.
Years ago, someone wrote: “For the church to grow larger, it must grow smaller.” Healthy bodies tend to grow when the systems within function well. Under the umbrella of Life Groups, We have identified three kinds of groups that will assist us in deepening our commitment to an expanding understanding of
“Loving God … Connecting People … Changing Lives.”
Covenant Groups typically meet on Sunday mornings. This is the Sunday School model that most of us are familiar with. Bible study, prayer, coffee, fellowship, coffee, mission activities, and social gatherings are essential ingredients (did I mention coffee?). Along with our preschool, children, and youth ministries, we have 9 adult Covenant Groups meeting each week.
Growth Groups are intended to encourage spiritual formation in our congregation. They try to answer the question, “How do I become a more fully devoted follower of Jesus?” One example could be the Wednesday morning Bible study led by Bill Givens. These groups will vary in length and frequency of meeting. Two 8-week groups start this Sunday at 9:45 am. The first features the book, “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for Both Halves of Life” written by Richard Rohr. The discussion will be facilitated by Susan Stewart and Bob Freeman. The second also starts this week. I will be leading the sessions that will deal with “Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask God.”
Affinity Groups offer a great way to build relationships through common interests. Recreational activities, book clubs, parenting, women and men’s ministries, investing, gardening, and so many other possibilities help us find people with similar interests and concerns. Ladies Night on February 27th gives us an idea of how to draw people together to build relationships.
Along with our Impact Teams and the new worship experience called the Gathering, Wieuca is finding more and more ways to connect. It’s time to be involved!