small group

When do you feel closest to God?

I am part of a small group that's going through questions about God. One of the questions posed this week was, "when do you feel closest to God?" I had to really stop and think. I can name many instances I've had intimate times with God, but the timing is always the same. I feel closest to God when I've take a big risk for His kingdom. Whether that's inviting someone to church, sharing the gospel, investing actual dollars in missions, or just leading the church into a risky situation that only God could see us through, it always results in a real dependence upon and closeness with God. I believe it happens for a few reasons.

1. My faith is tested. I'm afraid too often I avoid situations that will stretch or test my faith. I enjoy the safety of the status quo. Testing isn't something to avoid. It's something to lean into.

2. My ideal resolution does't happen. In my mind I imagined God would fix this another way. I assumed He'd use some method I can wrap my head around. It rarely happens that way. This forces me to realize it was never my leadership or sensibilities that resolved the situation.

3. My faith is strengthened. God shows up, or guides, or fixes whatever was amiss. The end result is always the same. My faith is strengthened through the testing. This is why I tend to be more of a risk taker (in terms of my faith) the older I get. I've seen Him do amazing work in me and through me. I hope to take more risks and see God do more in the days ahead.


So let me ask you. When do you feel closest to God?



-Pastor Marc

5 benefits of small groups

Why join a group?

Every week we encourage people to join small groups. We do it when we have lots of guests. We do it when we have lots of regulars. We continually encourage people to join groups because groups are where growth happens. We believe we can grow in a few specific ways at group:


groups are where we grow closer to each other

We all want friends. Well, most of us do. It's tough to foster deep relationships at church once a week. Small group creates an atmosphere for connection. It offers us a chance to get to know people we may see often, but know very little about. Everybody needs 3am friends. 3am friends are friends you can call at 3 am when your world is upside down. Often, those relationships begin at small group. These are the people doing life together with you.


groups are where we grow closer to God

Church is amazing. However, many assume those 60-80 minutes are all that are needed to have a powerful relationship with God. Throughout the New Testament God instructs the church to meet together as a large group, but we also find regular mentions of smaller informal groups. Jesus had about 120 followers, 12 disciples, and 3 in the inner circle. This isn't coincidence. It's easy to fade into the crowd at church. However, at group, we are all visible and, yes, vulnerable. We are open to accountability and community. God uses the Word to grow us. He also uses the encouragement of other believers to draw us closer to Himself.


groups are where we grow closer to God's church

Too often, we envision the church as a place or a service. The church is so much more. It is God's people. It is Jesus bride, His passion. When we get into groups we put faces with the church. We see the mission of the church lived out: people growing closer to God and each other. Jesus longs for us to not just be part of the church, but to be passionate about the church, it's people and it's mission.


groups are where we learn how to wrestle with Scriptures

It's one thing to hear good preaching. Let's call that belief 1.0. It's another thing to read God's Word. Let's call that belief 2.0. Small group takes it to the next level. This is were people read and discuss God's Word. In a group others have experiences, insights and knowledge that allow them to really unpack a passage in a way that maybe we'd never considered. This is where growth begins to take root. 


groups are where prayer becomes personal

When someone in group asks for prayer, it's more than just another request. These are the people you've grown to know and cherish. They feel the same about you. Your prayer request is urgent to them because they care about you. Their request will likely be on your mind as you pray daily. Prayer for the ones we care about should be a regular occurrence. Groups will always encourage a strong prayer life.

When you're ready to embrace all the benefits group has to offer, head over to our small group page and sign up for a group.