Off-Campus Small Groups
DATE POSTED: 03/28/2017  |     |   Category: Bible Study, Discipleship, Outreach

(The following article was written by Chris Walden, pastor at First Rock Fellowship, Aubrey.)

February 12, 2017 was the launch date for Life Groups at First Rock Fellowship, Aubrey. Life Groups is a common name, used to aptly describe off campus small groups, and created to help the body of Christ do life together. For many years our church has offered small group Bible studies lasting 10 to 12 weeks, depending on the study. Our custom was to offer groups in the Fall and Spring with the focus being the material.

By Summer of 2016 my heart really began to be burdened over a long standing problem in our church. For years we have had a regular flow of new members coming in, as well as a decent percentage of new converts and baptisms. The problem was how to keep what God was bringing in. It seemed as though the back door to our church was open and we were losing almost the same amount that were coming in the front door. We were thrilled for the new but grieved over those regular attenders who just seemed to slip away. I don’t suppose any church can fix this problem completely because we are ministering to people, but I did feel we could do much better.

This is when I began to since God moving my heart to a new vision for our church – small groups that focused on building oneness and unity as Jesus prayed in John 17. As God would have it, DBA started announcing a weekend workshop on small group ministry. My wife and I attended and were very blessed by what we learned. We chose different focus groups to attend in order to share the most information possible with our church. The DBA meeting was a great place to have questions answered. We planned nine weeks of training for our potential leaders, in which we cast the vision for year round Life Groups. The same vision later was presented to our congregation through four sermons, each emphasizing a different core value that would strengthen our community of faith: Fellowship, Discipleship, Prayer, and Evangelism.

Many in our church have fasted and prayed as we approached this launch date. Hopefully Life Groups will be the greatest outreach tool to the world around us. We pray that people will love and be loved so well that they cannot easily walk out of each other’s lives unnoticed.

 

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