It is an exciting time for our church family at Grace Bible Fellowship! By the grace of God we have seen an increase in our church membership, attendance, and an expansion of the space where we gather for worship. While we are excited about these great additions, the goal is not merely numerical growth, but also spiritual growth. Jesus' commission for us to MAKE DISCIPLES, consists of more than drawing crowds. It includes people following Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and on mission for Jesus. It requires intentional leaders, in relational environments, and a process that can be reproduced. With this in mind the elders, staff, and other leaders of have been taking a long and prayerful look at how we may best accomplish disciple-making at GBF. As a result, we have some progressive changes to reveal.
One of the biggest changes is that beginning in September we will be eliminating 9:30 Community Groups on Sunday mornings to make way for an approach that will afford us some exciting disciple-making opportunities. (**9:30 COMMUNITY GROUPS WILL CONTINUE TO MEET FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST**)
Beginning Sunday Sept 2nd, during our 10:45am worship service, we will be offering 'Grace Kids', a teaching time for children 4th grade and under. Children will be dismissed to GraceKIDS immediately following the praise and worship (singing) portion of the service. Everyone 5th grade and above will remain in the main auditorium for Bible teaching. This allows us to strike a balance of families worshiping together and children being able learn at a level that is more age appropriate.
**Note – parents always have the final say-so, if you would like to keep your child in the service with you that is perfectly acceptable. Also, our IMPACT Wednesdays will continue to meet as usual beginning Sept 12.(no change there)
Students 5th -12th interested in and qualified to serve in the children’s area will now have the opportunity to serve in GraceKIDS. As we have observed through New Mexico missions, Impact Power Week, and KidJam, our students can make some of the most dynamic, energetic, and effective leaders for younger children. We are excited to open up this opportunity to the qualified youth of GBF!
As in the past, GBF Student Ministry will continue to meet on Wednesdays as well.
For adults, rather than the 2 adult classes that were available on Sundays, we’ll be launching a "2.0" version of Lifeline groups. The most obvious difference with our Lifeline groups will be that all groups will now meet once a week. Beginning Sept 9th, we’ll have several groups meeting with the anticipation of having more in the future. Groups will meet on a weekly basis, with planned breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring-break, Easter, and an extended break for June and July. We'll then begin assessing and regrouping in the month of August for new groups to launch in the fall.
Lifeline Discipleship groups are made up of adults meeting in homes, or a designated place, apart from Sunday morning meetings. A Lifeline group should foster authentic community and spiritual growth with the goal of making disciples of Jesus. We'll have men's Lifeline groups, women's Lifeline, couples, or a mixture couples and singles. (this may help with some schedules)
A Lifeline group is a way to get people out of rows and into circles, for an altogether different learning and sharing experience than we accomplish in Sunday worship services. A commitment to a Lifeline group is more than a commitment to a leader or a study, it's a commitment to others in your group as well. While authentic community can not be forced it can be intentional. A people on mission for Jesus need the support, wisdom, and love of other people on that same mission.
Please take some time to consider making a weekly commitment to Jesus, and to a group of people, who by the power of God can change your life and you can change theirs in a Lifeline Group. We'll have sign up sheets available beginning next Sunday, August 19th, and we'll begin forming groups based on those who are interested.
FAQ about Lifeline Discipleship Groups...
Who will be in my group?
Factors such as your season of life, time availability, natural relationships, and others will be considered in doing our best to get people placed in a group. The main thing is that you sign up so that we can explore ways to get you plugged in.
How long is a Lifeline group meeting?
We recommend a meeting be 1 hour and 15 minutes. Our groups will need to have set start and finish times to be respectful of group members time as well as that of the host homes and group leaders.
What curriculum will we use?
GBF has a scope of recommended Bible Studies for groups including a study that will go alongside our Sunday sermon series, The Man of God study for men, Titus 2 study for women, and others. We want our studies to Biblical, interactive, and spiritually edifying.
What will we do about childcare?
It depends on the group. Some groups are able to bring their children with them without the need for childcare. Others will choose leave childcare up to each family. Still others may choose share responsibility to hire childcare for their meetings.
What day of the week will we meet?
Lifeline groups can meet anytime other than Sunday mornings. Your shared availability with that of a few others and a leader will determine the day you'll meet.
How many people are in a Lifeline group?
An optimal size of a group is around 12-15. However we do expect our groups to grow and even start new groups!
What if I can't be there every week?
There will be times that people can't make to their Lifeline group meeting. People get sick, their children get sick, work schedules conflict, things happen. The key is to make this commitment a priority in your life. Remember that your commitment is to Jesus, your own spiritual growth, and to the others in your group. Make every effort to make it, and when you can't make it, your group will understand and support you in prayer.