Scripture is clear that the early church did more than just get together once on Sunday of each week. They gathered regularly, meeting in people’s homes, to share their lives. And when those early Christians met, people who saw their fellowship and love for each other were attracted to the Church and to Jesus.
These new LPC Community Groups can do the same things – provide a place for our church members and attenders to connect in a more personal and satisfying way on a regular basis; and also give new people a positive place where they can first experience our people, our church and the Gospel.
I believe with all my heart that this is the next great thing God wants for our church, our people and for our outreach to the community. I know of nothing else that has the potential for greater impact on the lives of our members and attenders, and for attracting new people to our church and to the Lord.
Our plan is to launch these groups with meetings in leaders’ homes on Sunday afternoon, September 1. Initially all the groups will be reading and discussing the same book – Love Does, by Bob Goff, which we will be providing. (It’s a great book – inspiring, funny and easy to read.) To encourage discussion, I’ll be preaching sermons during the month of September from the first four sections of the book, and I’ll provide some discussion questions.
After that first Sunday meeting, each group can decide when and where they want to meet – same place/same day & time; or same place/different day & time; or different place… etc. It’s up to you. Perhaps you want to meet in different homes each week and have the host or hostess provide light refreshments – whatever works for your group.
We also want the groups to start with the Love Does book (which I’m sure everyone will like), but after that you and the group can decide what you want to do and be – book group, Bible study, dinner group, fellowship group, prayer group… The only requirement is that we keep things focused on Jesus, provide opportunity for fellowship, seek to help meet people’s needs, and be open to newcomers.
You still have time to sign up for a group on Sunday morning. We will also be adding new groups in November to accommodate our beloved “snowbirds” when they return.