This month we will be emphasizing our “gospel community” and encouraging you to get connected.
We began this concept of “gospel community” by launching “Community Groups” over a decade ago. Community Groups are geographically-based: you already “belong” to one, based on where you live. Community Groups include everyone in that area. The goal is three C’s: to connect to others, care for others, and be a community, with others, especially those of different life stages. There are currently five Community Groups: in Cottonwood Heights, Sandy, Millcreek, Mid-Valley, and South Valley. We are also interested in forming a sixth, especially if you live in the Sugar House or downtown area. If you’re interested, let me know. Community Groups generally gather on the first Sunday of the month for lunch.
But over time we recognized the importance of natural affinities with others - friendships based on life stage, hobby, gender, etc. Enter Discipleship Groups, alongside Community Groups. Discipleship Groups serve as greenhouses for closer friendships, where we sync up our lives and live out the gospel in ordinary life, together. There are many different kinds of Discipleship Groups; some are listed here. They meet throughout the week, with different rhythms.
We believe that we will thrive most as we get involved all three “contexts” of our church’s life: the Sunday morning classes and Worship Celebration; Community Groups; and Discipleship Groups.
Other churches have very similar formulas, with similar names and variations on the names. We don’t pretend to be innovative here. But we are trying to capture three crucial truths:
1. We already ARE a community, in Christ. Thus living together in community is not an aspiration to something new, but to be who we already are.
2. Community is crucial for growth. We grow by three channels of grace: the Word; prayer; and fellowship with other believers. These groups are “tracks” for this growth-by-fellowship to run on.
3. We are “buffered” people. That is, in our great national, personal and historic wealth, we have built for ourselves walls around us, that have made life safe from threats. Not completely, but more than any other generation in the history of the world. Those buffers are generally good. But we are also prone to rest within them, too early - before our eternal rest comes. Until then, we have growing to do, a mission to fulfill, and a God to love, trust and hope in. In these groups we step outside of our buffered strongholds of self, to God, through others - and really thrive.