There are certain words that I believe need to be a part of the vocabulary of every Christ follower. At the heart of who we are should be such words as love, serve, share and bless. One other word, that I particularly think of as we begin a new year, is GROW. In fact, one of our core convictions as a church is that "everyone is meant to grow."
There are many ways that we can grow in our faith. We can grow through worship. We can grow through daily prayer and Bible reading. We can grow when we trust God to take steps of faith. But in my experience, one of the most effective tools we have for spiritual growth is lifegroup. I love my lifegroup! Every Tuesday evening a group of us gather for prayer, study, conversation, mutual support and encouragement. It is definitely one of the highlights of my week.
Currently we have over 30 lifegroups running in our church, with about half of our folks participating in a lifegroup. These groups vary in time, location, style and subject. But they are all opportunities for growth. Because lifegroup is such an important part of our ongoing growth, my goal is to see every active member of our church have that opportunity.
I believe lifegroups are an essential part of our ministry for several reasons. First, they are a place of community. As a church with four locations and seven weekly services, it can sometimes be hard to connect. Lifegroups give us a place to build relationships within the church. Lifegroups are also a place of care. Over the years that our lifegroup has been together, members of the group have gone through health issues, loss, job transitions and much more. As a group, we have provided the support and care that was needed. And of course, lifegroup is a place to grow in our faith. Lifegroup is really where discipleship happens.
The start of a new year is a great time to get conncted to a lifegroup. Almost all of our existing lifegroups still have openings for new participants. You can get a current listing of our groups at www.rocklifegroups.org. We also have several new groups starting this week. We have two alpha groups starting. Alpha is a great overall introduction to the Christian Faith. There will be a new alpha group at our Plaistow Campus this Sundays at 2:00 PM, and on Monday at 6:00 PM at the Lucia's home in Chester. We are also launching new Sunday Morning lifegroups at our Plaistow campus. At 9:45 AM Doug Little will lead an in depth study of the book of Galatians. Then at 11:11, Jim and Jody Michaels will be leading "Upon this Rock." This class will lay the foundation to know what we believe about many of the basic teaching of scripture and to share it with others. We invite you to join us for either of these this Sunday morning.
Lifegroups are a wonderful way to build great relationships, care for one another and to grow deeper in Christ. If you are not already in a group, this would be a great time to jump in. If you need help getting connected, you can talk with your campus pastor or our lifegroup ministry directors Ed and Sherry Lucia.
One last thing: Men, this Monday is Men's First Monday at our Plaistow Campus. We will have as our guest speaker Ralph Ferguson. Ralph has an amazing testimony that you will not want to miss!