I Quit Going to Church

Dear Church,

This past Sunday night we had (I think) 23 people in our family room. We invited a couple of Grow Groups (that were both partially represented) and several other people (not currently connected to a Grow Group). The intention was just to hang out, eat dessert and get to know each other better. I think we accomplished all three objectives.

During the course of conversation, one of the couples who are new the Grace Community asked me about our Grow Groups – “How do they work?” “What are they all about?” It was my great privilege to answer them.

First, I gave them the logistical answers: ideally they’re groups of 8-14 people, they meet weekly in homes on various nights of the week for approximately 90 minutes, they’re built basically on affinity/relationships (not assigned by geography, etc.), their primary purpose is to promote growth (thus the name “Grow Groups”) – growth in relationship with God, growth in connection with each other, growth in knowledge of God’s word, etc.

Then I got to give them the less logistical, but more important answer: “Grow Groups are where ‘church’ can really happen! Sunday morning has a vitally important place in our lives, but meeting regularly with a small group of like-minded Christ-followers who know our name, know our hopes, dreams, hurts and struggles, know when we’re missing, pray with and for us, help care for us during tough times (I.E. show up at the hospital, bring meals during recovery, show up at funerals, grieve with us during times of loss, etc.), celebrate with us during good times, encourage us, hold us accountable, cheer for us and give us a place/opportunity to offer the same blessings in their lives. That’s what Grow Groups are all about!!!

In other words, it’s a place to truly BE the church.

Are they always convenient? No. Is every meeting like going to Disneyland? Hardly. Do I recommend them them? Abso-stinkin-lutely!!!!! Grow Groups can play an irreplaceable role of spiritual formation in our lives and in the lives of those with whom we gather regularly.

 If you have not yet found a group, please let us know. We’d love to help you get connected!!!

 

Thoroughly convinced,
 
Joel