A Connect Group is a small group of people within the church who meet regularly to establish a sense of community and to help live out the reality of the Christian life on a day-to-day basis. The scripture, Church history and our own experience have taught us that small groups are the most effective model for a dynamic church body, which consistently administers the love and grace of God. This interpersonal relationship model was the basis for vibrant Christian life and growth in the New Testament Church (see Acts 2:42-47). For this reason, Connect Groups will be the primary relational cell for connection to the church body here at City Church.
The benefits of participating in a Connect Group are far-reaching. In the context of this smaller “spiritual family” you will be able to establish deeper relationships in a warm and safe environment. You will be accepted for who you are while at the same time encouraged to reach your full potential in God. This small group will be a care-giving community as well as a place to grow in areas of serving others. The Body will learn how to grow up into the fullness of Christ as we see the Lord at work in and through each other.
What are the five purposes of a Connect Group?
The acronym “MATCH” represents some of the core values of the Connect Groups. A match is a small but essential catalyst to ignite a fire so we can burn for the Lord and shine as His lights in this world – both individually and corporately. Of course, in order for a match to ignite it needs oxygen. Each group has to have the ability to “breathe” in order for it to be what God intends. The flexibility to breathe will allow each group to have its own personality and emphasis depending upon the leader and the make-up of the group.
MISSION – As we link arms in the common purpose of mission we shine as lights before men, so they may see our good works, and give glory to our Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
ACCOUNTABILITY – We want to keep each other awake by encouragement and warning if necessary because the day of the Lord’s return is getting nearer. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
TEACHING - Jesus said we were to teach people to obey what He commanded. (Matthew 28:20) There will be discussion from excerpts of Sunday morning messages chosen by the leaders that center around how to live out and apply the Word of God.
CARING – Ephesians 4:16 tells us that God’s plan was that the body would build itself up in love. Small groups give a place where people can use their gifts in practical ways to care for each other. We are also praying for the manifestation of the supernatural gifts in I Corinthians 12 so the body can be strengthened in every way.
HEALING – James 5:16 tells us that healing comes from confessing our sins to each other and praying for one another. When small groups develop trusting relationships they become safe places where people can be vulnerable and receive anointed, heart-felt prayer that heals them. Healed people then turn around and start healing others.
What is the commitment?
We are asking people to commit to their group for 10 months. Most of the groups meet the 1st and 3rd weeks of the month on various days of the week from February through November. In July, the groups take a break from their normal meetings, but many do something social – like a picnic. The commitment means that you will try to be there each time the group meets. If you can’t make a meeting we ask that you call the leaders to let them know. This is the intentional part of developing meaningful relationships which take time and commitment.
What about children?
Some groups will have childcare or have children involved in the meetings in some fashion. Many groups will not involve children making it necessary for you to make other arrangements.
What groups are offered and which group should I be in?
There is a complete listing of the groups in the Connect Catalogue. You can pick up a copy at the church Information Center. If you already have relationships in the church you may want to go a group where your friends are going. If you are relatively new, you may want to go to the one nearest your present address. If you would like some help, Pastor Joel Alberti is available to help connect people to the group that best fits what they’re looking for. You can talk with him on Sunday mornings or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 221-1528.
How do I sign up?
Official sign-up occurs during the month of January. If you miss sign-up, you are welcome to visit any of the groups at any time of the year. Simply call the facilitator ahead of time to make sure there is room as some of the groups can fill.