Volume 39 | April 2018
Engage Your Community
More than simply collecting clothes, food, or money, many small groups are eager to engage their communities in meaningful, Christlike ways. But even with the best intentions, it can be difficult to know where to begin and how to make a plan for real community engagement. Lean on the wisdom and experience of the articles below. You'll discover how to get to know the real needs in your community and make a plan for engagement that actually fits your group.

What does it mean to truly love the people in our communities and engage them in meaningful ways? Discover what missional engagement is all about, then learn how to research your community, leverage your passions, and discover how to make a plan that fits your group.
Why Small Groups Need to Be On Mission
Because discipleship is more than we've given it credit for.
Many people think the primary purpose of small groups is to help people get connected so they won't leave the church. After all, it's by being connected to the church that people become disciples, right? Wrong! I could not disagree with that philosophy more. Small groups are much more than just a tool to keep people from leaving church. Being connected to a church can provide strong Christian relationships (which are necessary), but that's not enough. Click here to continue reading.
Loving Your Neighbor
What impact is your small group having on your local community?
"It has been a week since his car moved, the mail is piling up, and there are no footprints in the snow from his house. I knocked on the door and made a couple phone calls, but no one answered."

That was my dad talking. It had been a week since he had seen his next door neighbor Roger — a single guy who has no family. No one really knows Roger in the neighborhood, and growing up his house reminded me of the movie  Psycho . I later learned that the police could not enter into Roger's house until two or more weeks had passed since anyone had heard anything. Click here to continue reading.
Do Your Research
Act like a missionary in your local context.
Tell your group members that they have been chosen to be missionaries to specified locations in your community. When they get to their assigned locations, they'll need to observe the culture and the people. Let them know this is important research so that they can know what the people are like, what they're looking for, and what their lifestyle rhythms are. They cannot be effective missionaries without doing this research. Click here to continue reading.
Leverage Your Passions
Choose a serving opportunity that reflects your group members' hearts.
When we want to get our small groups involved in service, the "regular" opportunities always come to mind: cooking for a soup kitchen, volunteering at a homeless shelter, cleaning up the church, organizing a food pantry, tutoring at an after-school program, and so on. Those can be great opportunities, but what if we were able to truly engage the passions of our group members? Click here to continue reading.
Meet People Where They Are
Move your small group to a non-traditional meeting place.
Jesus was the ultimate example for meeting people where they are — he often met people in non-traditional ways and places. He has shown us that anywhere can be a great place to meet him and his truths. Click here to continue reading.
Save the Date
Save the date for the events below, both for you and for your small group members:

  • "Stuck" Message Series: Sunday, April 1 - Sunday, April 22
  • Worship and Baptism Night: Tuesday, April 24 at 7pm - Wexford and Oakland Campuses
  • Small Group Leader Rally: Saturday, April 21 from 9am-2pm - Wexford Campus