Joining a small group is one of the most significant ways to grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus and with others. Because relationships require time and investment to develop, small groups are a way we commit to walking our spiritual journey with a smaller group of people.
If you’re looking for relationships, attending an event hosted by a community group or serving in a ministry are great places to start. Then, as relationships grow, you might consider joining or starting a small group with one or two other friends.
How to Join or Lead a Small Group
Our church has two cycles of all-church small groups, one in the fall and one in the winter. Each small group cycle runs for about 8 weeks, usually in conjunction with the start of a new season or sermon series. These small groups are opportunities to grow in community, go deeper in the study of the sermon series and Scriptures, and experience spiritual formation.
In addition, various small groups with a specific focus are offered throughout the year. For example, some community groups offer short-term small groups, like a men’s Bible study or a women’s book study. At different times, the pastors offer spiritual formation small groups for those exploring the Christian faith or looking to take a next step as a disciple-maker.
To inquire about leading a small group, reach out to Pastor Will at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: During this time of isolation, many small groups are continuing to connect virtually. We are providing weekly discussion questions below that accompany each Sunday's sermon. They can be used for small groups or personal study.
WHOLE (May 24-June 28)
Have you ever heard the saying “hurt people hurt”? Sometimes as Christians we think that feelings are the last thing we should listen to, because feelings lie! The problem is that when we ignore our feelings, they come to rule our lives in ways we never intended. In this series, we’ll use Peter Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality to look at how our emotional IMmaturity keeps us from spiritual Maturity. The good news is that God can make us “holy and whole, put together...spirit, soul, and body!” (I Thess. 5:23, MSG).
In these strange times gathering together (virtually) seems especially important and having something focused to talk about, other than the latest news, can be deeply refreshing! Some of your groups are comprised entirely of adults, some are mixed-age groups, so pick through the questions to select the ones which seem most suited to your group. And remember, if things stall, you can always ask “What did you think of x?” or “How do you feel about y?”, selecting something from the sermon which you found memorable. Relax and have fun with this!
For this series, if you'd like, you can purchase Scazzero's book HERE. A workbook is also available HERE. A daily devotional is available HERE.
Week 1 Discussion Guide:
Read Luke 18:9014 for review
If desired, read chapters 1-2 in Scazzero's Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.
Opening: As a group, how many different feeling words (like mad, happy, or distraught) can you think of in 30 seconds? Make a list! Were feelings something that were talked about in your home growing up, or was that taboo?
In this first sermon of the series, Pastor Becky talked about how we cannot become spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature. A sign of emotional immaturity is using God to run from God. In order to become emotionally mature, we need to start by naming our hurts and identifying our emotional needs as a person.
What is emotionally immature about the Pharisee's actions in Luke 18:9-14?
In what ways did the Pharisee use God to run from God?
Have you ever used God to run from God? What happened?
What was emotionally healthy about the tax collector's prayer?
How does acknowledging our brokenness help us to draw near God and others?
Kids: What do you think the Pharisee looked and sounded like when he prayed? How about the tax collector? Which person would you feel more comfortble being friends with, and why? Why do you think God accepted the tax collector but not the Pharisee?
Did you know that your emotional life has as much to do with your relationship with God as your prayer life?! In fact, part of faithful pursuit of God and becoming like Jesus is working on our emotional health.
Had you heard the saying "hurt people hurt"? Where have you seen this to be true?
What's a time in your life when you hurt others because you yourself were hurting?
For you, what tends to be a sign that you're not in a great place of emotionally? (Does your eating change or do you watch more TV? Do you get short with others? Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you find it hard to go pray?)
What hurts are lingering in your life right now that might be affecting your relationship with God, others, or yourself?
What's one thing that you need in your life today in order to grow more emotionally healthy?
Kids: Can you think of the last time you felt sad? Were you feeling sad about something in particular or just sad? What's a time lately when you felt really happy? What helps you feel better when you are sad? Psalm 56:8 (NLT) says, "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." Did you know that God keeps track of every one of your tears? That's how much God cares about your feelings! So when you're happy, and when you're sad, you can go to God, and share what you're feeling.
Pray together asking God to help us see our hurts, to know our needs, and to courageously lean in and do the hard work of growing in emotional health.
If desired, for next week, read chapter 4 in Scazzero's Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.
Why Join a Small Group?