“Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” (Colossians 2:6-7)
What is a Growth Group?
A Growth Group is a small group of 12-15 members who have chosen to commit themselves to one another for one purpose: growth. In that sense, they’re a little like greenhouses, wherein Christians gather to encourage one another in the Word and to ask the Holy Spirit to take that Word and to cause it to grow and to bear fruit for God’s glory in and through group members. As group members are rooted, built up, and established in Christ, through the work of Word and Spirit, they will begin to walk in a manner worthy of him producing spiritual fruit that nourishes and lasts.
Why Growth Groups?
We believe growth in the gospel happens when people hear and respond to the Word of God. We also believe that preaching is not enough. We believe people need a place where they can personally work out and walk out the preached Word in committed relationships with brothers and sisters who share their desire to grow in the Lord. Think: the exposition of the Word of God + the exposition of our lives = a Growth Group.
We also believe that the church grows and matures as the members of the body learn to speak the truth in love to one another. We believe this involves not just the few speaking the Word of God to the many but every member of the body speaking the truth in love to one another. We believe Growth Groups are a learning lab of sorts where we learn together how to encourage one another with the very words of our God by listening well to one another and learning to speak well-timed, grace-giving, biblical words to one another.
Finally, if we’re going to grow in the Lord or go with his gospel to our neighbors and the nations, we need his presence and his power, which means we need to pray. In fact, our first response to the preached Word ought to be prayer. Gospel growth involves transformation, from the inside out, and the only One who can take the Word and do that kind of work, inside and out, is the Lord Jesus. He’s the only One who can change us and the only One who can save our lost neighbors, which is why we pray together, in Growth Groups. Because we must. Not merely in the sense that we are commanded to pray, but in the desperate sense that we will never grow apart from God’s presence and power, and we will never go with his Word, into our community, apart from his presence and power.
What are the essential aims of a Growth Group?
• To develop in group members an unshakable confidence in Christ and his Word. (rooted and established)
• To strengthen group members’ understanding and application of God’s Word to everyday life and relationships. (built up)
• To cultivate Christ-centered change by allowing the Word of Christ to dwell richly in the heart and so abiding in Christ (overflowing with gratitude)
• To surround group members with a team of people who can pray with them for and encourage them to share the gospel with the lost around them.
When and where do Growth Groups meet?
Growth Groups will launch in January 2018, and we are hoping to begin with 10 groups. Please pray with us that we reach this goal. Some groups will meet on campus. Others will meet in homes. Childcare will be offered on Sunday and Wednesday nights, which means many groups may choose to meet on one of these two nights. Some groups may also choose to meet on other nights. The intention is that Growth Groups will meet weekly, for two hours, for sermon-based study of God’s Word, for prayer, and for fellowship.
What if I’d like to talk with someone about leading or hosting a Growth Group?
• First, read through the Growth Group Leader role description and/or the Growth Group host role description and prayerfully determine which one the Lord might be leading you to explore.
• Second, contact Mike Crowe, the Discipleship Pastor, if you have any questions. You can reach Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 205.978.9302.
• Third, sign up for the Growth Group leader training course, which will we be offered at two different times this fall, or for the Growth Group host training, which will be offered a few different times.
What can I expect if I decide to go through the Growth Group leader training course?
Growth Group leader training will meet in Room 356 and will last for eight weeks. You may choose between two different days and times depending on which works best for your schedule:
- GGL training group one six-week training schedule (Sunday afternoons):
- Session 1: October 1, 3:30-5:00 pm
- Session 2: October 15, 3:30-5:00 pm
- Session 3: October 22, 3:30-5:00 pm
- Session 4: November 5, 3:30-5:00 pm
- Session 5: November 12, 3:30-5:00 pm
- Session 6: November 19, 3:30-5:00 pm
- GGL training group two six-week training schedule (Wednesday evenings):
- Session 1: October 4, 6:30-8:00 pm
- Session 2: October 11, 6:30-8:00 pm
- Session 3: October 18, 6:30-8:00 pm
- Session 4: October 25, 6:30-8:00 pm
- Session 5: November 8, 6:30-8:00 pm
- Session 6: November 15, 6:30-8:00 pm
You will be asked to read Something Worth Meeting For – A Biblical Vision for Small Groups by Steve Midgley before the first session.
The training course itself will consist of all participants working through Growth Groups: A Training Course in How to Lead Small Groups by Colin Marshall. This book will be provided for all who go through the training.
Again, if you have questions about Growth Group leader training, please contact Mike Crowe, the Discipleship Pastor.
If you would like to sign up for Growth Group Leader Training, please click the button below.
What can I expect if I decide to go through the Growth Group host training course?
Growth Group host training will last for one session, and you may choose any of the following. All meetings are in Room 356. You need only attend one:
- Wednesday, September 27, 6:30-8:00 pm
- Sunday, December 3, 3:30-5:00 pm
- Wednesday, December 6, 3:30-5:00 pm
- Sunday, December 10, 3:30-5:00 pm
You will be asked to read the little book The Hospitality Commands by Alexander Strauch. When you sign up for host training, the book will be provided to you.
The training course itself will consist of walking the what it looks like to host a Growth Group and more importantly what the responsibilities of a host are.
If you would like to sign up for the Growth Group Host Training, please click the button below.
Again, if you have questions about Growth Group host or leader training, please contact Mike Crowe, the Discipleship Pastor.