We are three weeks away from starting The Story and I am really excited about starting this journey with all of you. In the weeks leading up to the kickoff, we will be looking at the book of Job for one week, and then a short two-week series on the mission and vision of Central Christian Church. Then, on August 23rd we will start our series that we’ve been talking about for the last few months. That first Sunday will be an introduction to what we will be looking at over the next several months. Then on August 30th, we will jump right into The Story, including kicking off our small groups program. It’s this program that I want to talk to about this month. I want to stress the importance of joining a small group, and the reasons behind this important part of what we are trying to do.
First, we wanted to introduce the small groups during The Story because of the nature of the study itself. We will be walking through over 80% of scripture in the 33 weeks of The Story. That means we will be taking huge chunks of story each week, so our sermon time will not be able to go really in-depth with the study. That’s were reading along with us in The Story Bibles and joining a small group will come in really handy. We want everyone to get as much out of this study as we can, and the more ways you are able to participate, the more you will get out of it. In the small groups, you will get to watch a video about the section that we are on, and then discuss with each other how and why that applies to our lives today. I have done this study while we were in TN, and led a small group of adults through this. It is a very worthwhile small group study to go through.
Second, we feel that there are even more benefits to being in a small group than just this study or any study for that matter. I truly believe that we were made to live in community, and that is what a small group is designed for. Basically this will become a smaller family that can really get to know each other well over the 30+ weeks that you meet together. I mentioned that Kelley and I led a small group through this study back in TN. Well, this group stayed together and did many other studies together after this one was over. More importantly, we shared life together. We prayed together each week, we shared meals together, we laughed, and we grew closer and closer to each other. While Kelley and I were looking for a ministry position, it was this group of people that prayed earnestly for and with us. We shared our frustrations and stress with one another. And it was the people from this group that were the first to welcome us back when we went to TN on vacation last month. They truly became family to us, and even though we are separated by 1,400 miles today, we are still family because of the time that we spent together in these groups.
These small group gatherings that we are encouraging you to attend are not just something that we want you to add to your already busy schedule. It’s something that we feel is vital to the life and health of this church and our faith family members. Not only will you be able to dig deep into scripture, you will be able to truly share life with one another in an attempt to live out the Christian life better together. There will be a sign-up sheet in the lobby of the church up until the kick-off of The Story. Please prayerfully consider joining one of these groups. I promise, it is worth it. If you have any questions, please let me know and I will do my best to answer any and all of them.