We are relaunching Growth Groups on Sunday, September 18. These groups will run from September 18 – November 13 and will coincide with our 9-week fall sermon series that we’ve entitled, “Worldly Wisdom VS Godly Wisdom”. In anticipation of Growth Groups, here is some basic information concerning this discipleship program:
The Basic Philosophy of Growth Groups:
- Upward Focus (The Worship Element to Growth Groups) – The primary (not sole, but primary) focus of Growth Groups is to dig deep into God’s Word to mine all of the nuggets of His Word for equipping and edification. Our method of mining nuggets from God’s Word is sermon-based small group discussion.
- Inward Target (The Nurturing Aspect of Growth Groups) – While worship is our primary focus, caring for the health (both physical and spiritual) of our Growth Group members is vitally important. Growth Groups (ideally and philosophically) will provide our PF church members and regular attendees with their primary care in terms of support, prayer, and friendship.
- Outward Service (The Community Component to Growth Groups) – Reaching up is our primary focus…reaching inward is vitally important…but reaching outward to our community in terms of praying for our community and doing service projects for our community is the real heartbeat of Growth Groups.
The Covenant of Growth Groups:
As a Growth Group Leader, you are promising to:
- Provide a safe and clean environment for effective biblical discussion to take place.
- Prepare well for each Growth Group session by means of staying organized and exercising time management skills.
- Maintain confidentiality of any and all sensitive information that is given to you by your Growth Group members.
As a Growth Group Member, you are promising to:
- Endeavor to make it to each Growth Group session and to make these sessions a priority in your life.
- Prepare well for each Growth Group session by means of Sunday morning church attendance and by bringing your Bible to each Growth Group session.
- Maintain confidentiality of any and all sensitive information that is given to you by other Growth Group members.
If you are not currently plugged into one of our six Growth Groups, and would like to be, please sign up on the sheet in the church foyer. We would love to have you grow with us!
As I sit in my office, a storm is brewing outside. Dark rain clouds fill the sky, the wind is picking up with intensity, and the rumble of thunder can be heard in the distance. A storm is definitely brewing. I am literally watching with eager, nervous anticipation.
As I watch this particular storm unfold, I can’t help but think of the storms of life and the lessons that such storms teach us. So much can be learned in a storm. Here are a few thoughts:
- Storms are unexpected. Now I know that some of you are addicted to your weather app on your phone and practically no thunderstorm catches you by surprise, but for the storms of life (divorce, death, being laid off, etc.) there is no weather app. There is no notification or alert that will go off on your phone telling you of approaching heartache and pain. Storms are surprising and unexpected, not to our great God, but definitely to us.
- Storms require adjustment. Physical storms have the uncanny ability to adjust our plans and schedules. All of a sudden we experience delays and cancellations due to a particular storm, and the same is true with the storms of life. Such storms tend to shut things down and cause us to pause and readjust. This at times can be a blessing in disguise as we tend to run too fast and too hard and need to slow down and wait on the Lord.
- Storms showcase our fragility. It’s amazing to observe the incredible power of God in the storms He sends our way. We all plan for good days, with plenty of sun and blue skies, but God knows that we need a storm or two to sharpen us and humble us. The irony of the Christian life is that we actually trust the One who gave us the storm, even though it’s terribly uncomfortable to do so at times. But we trust the One who gave us the storm because we are weak and He is not.
- Storms are scary. I remember observing my first hurricane in Florida. I was a small child at the time and the storm literally mesmerized and terrified me at the same time. In a hurricane things go flying through the air, trees are torn apart, and the electricity quickly becomes obsolete. The storms of life can be just as terrifying. So much damage is done in such storms, but God is faithful, and good, and sovereign, and loving even in the midst of such storms. Such truths you have to rehearse to yourself over and over again, especially when the wind howls and the rain never seems to stop.
- Storms don’t last forever. This is such a comforting truth. No storm (physical or spiritual) lasts forever. They come and then they go. Storms are such good reminders of the seasons of life. With each season comes its own share of joys and sufferings, but all seasons teach us fascinating things about God, life, and even of the life to come.
- Storms are a blessing. Perhaps an odd concept for some of you, but it’s true. Storms are a blessing because they sharpen us, strengthen us, and shuttle us time and time again to the feet of Jesus. In fact, that’s probably the number one reason God sends storms our way. In good days, with plenty of sunshine and laughter, we tend to forget God as we play with all of His gifts. But when the storms come, we, like small children, drop our toys, and run into the arms of Jesus where we are safe, loved, and always protected. You know…that’s a good place to be as the storm rages on.
What other lessons can be learned in the storms of life? Interact with me on social media…I would love to hear your thoughts.