In their book Groups That Thrive, Joel Comiskey and Jim Egli researched 4800 small group participants across four continents. They asked the question "Why are some small groups dynamic, attractive, and breathe the life of Christ? Why do other groups stagnate and close?" They discovered that in a thriving group people feel loved, accepted and embraced. The meeting is like a gathering of good friends with the presence of Jesus in their midst. Each member is a participant, so there is an "our group" mentality, with no one on the sidelines. Facilitators are not Bible teachers but gentle guides who encourage the asking of open questions and honest discussion. Thriving communities require a supernatural mix of prayer and Spirit-led anointing that makes a way for everyone to participate, for the healing presence of God, and for vibrant life that blesses others. And these groups remain committed to multiplying and expanding, to inviting friends, to keeping a chair open for guests to be included.
Our PasCov October rollout of Growth Groups will follow this sort of thriving group model with inductive Bible study and conversation, perhaps after a meal. These formational groups will be hosted in various locations throughout the San Gabriel Valley and will be places of deep connection, where we can listen to the Word and each other as we seek to follow Jesus.
Watch the church lobby for the Growth Groups board to appear on September 8th for sign-ups. Until then, please join us in praying for many to be stirred by the Spirit to draw nearer to God!
Grace and peace,
Pastor for Spiritual Formation