Back to School, Back to Life Groups

With our new pastor, Gary Brown, my responsibilities have changed at NorthStar. Now my main focus will be our small group ministry we call Life Groups. Original, I know. This Fall all of our groups will be going through the Experiencing God study. If you've been in church for a while you've probably heard of this study written by Henry Blackaby and Claude King. We had our fall kick-off meeting last Sunday. There were about 40 people there. We ordered 60 books and only have 9 left.

I'm really excited to see what God will do in our people over the next 13 weeks as they are challenged to change the way they look at serving God. We have a couple of new Life Group leaders and several new people getting involved. In fact there were several first time visitors that showed up for the kick-off meeting; so many that we started a new group on the spot!

My hope is that these Life Groups with become more than just a Bible-study or fellowship group. My prayer is that they will strive to be what Ed Stetzer calls "small missional communities". That means that we are forming groups of believers gathered for the purpose of the Gospel focused on the Great Commission. We hear the word "mission" and we think mission-trips or missions giving. Stetzer popularized the term "missional" in an effort to get Christians to think of themselves as being on a mission daily, weekly, yearly and so on. So for a small group this means that the meetings are only a smart part of what the group means to the members' lives. The group meeting is a chance for disciples to come together for encouragement, direction, nourishment in the word, teaming up in prayer, and even Christ-centered worship. I know that if God establishes these groups in our church then the church will not only be strong in numbers, but it will also be a church that is impacting our culture for Christ.

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