Small But Mighty
Spiritual Formation Groups offer small gatherings of friends the opportunity to pursue relational wholeness with God and one another no matter where they are on their faith journey. Pastor Graham explains more.
At theHeart, we are continually seeking to follow Christ faithfully in every aspect of our lives. And we recognize the importance of walking this journey with other Christ-followers and friends.
That is why we feel it's important for all of us to set aside time outside of our Sunday morning gatherings to together with people who guide us in our faith, offer healthy relationships, and ultimately help form us into the likeness of Christ.
Small On Purpose
With this goal in mind, we began a ministry several years ago to establish small groups that would intentionally meet during the week to pursue reconciliation with God and each other through Christ's Love. Since that time, a handful of groups have been meeting in living rooms all across the High Country to do just that.
And yet as our church continues to grow, more and more people have expressed a desire to be involved in this kind of genuine connection. We simply didn't have the spaces needed. We recognize that now is the time to build upon our current small groups ministry in hopes of providing even more opportunities for people to gather in Christian community during the week.
Our staff has been spending time thinking, praying, and dreaming about how we can make this happen. In doing so, we had two priorities: 1) we wanted to ensure that there were places for people to land; and 2) we wanted to continue developing our ability to lead these small pockets of community well.
Spaces for the Spirit to Work
A growing conviction of mine is that the pursuit of spiritual formation should be at the core of these small gatherings. What do I mean by spiritual formation? It's simply the process of opening ourselves up to the work of the Holy Spirit in molding us into all that God intended for us to be.
"I resonate with the language of spiritual formation as it speaks to us all being a work in progress, no matter where we are in our faith journey." — Pastor Graham
God in His goodness calls us good and holy.
We are already of incredible value to Him. At the same time, God is faithful to work in our lives to bring us into the fullness of life as He intended it. And as we open ourselves up to God's work in our lives, we are better equipped to care deeply for one another and to reach out to the world around us.
These different goals for our small group gatherings are not mutually exclusive but rather they are dependent upon one another.
What to Expect
So what does this look like moving forward? Well, a few things to get us started:
All of our small groups will be called Spiritual Formation Groups. Significant, spiritually formative work is already taking place in the life of our small groups, but our reasoning for this change is that this more explicit language will help cement the idea in all of our minds.
All groups will initially follow a resource called The Spiritual Formation Handbook by Renovare. I came across this resource several months ago and I think it will be really beneficial for us. It is a nine-week curriculum that provides tools and instruction on spiritual formation as well as resources for discerning together the ongoing health of a group. We will be asking all newly formed Spiritual Formation Groups to go through this nine-week course. After this process, if a group decides to stay together, they will be free to follow a group format that fits the personality of its individuals. Our desire is that spiritual formation will continue to be the theme.
We will add two or three new Spiritual Formation Groups in the Spring and two or three new groups in the Fall. We already have three sets of leaders who are ready to jump in and help us begin forming new groups. Our goal is to have these groups up and running by end of March or early April.
What to Do
Are you interested in joining a Spiritual Formation Group? Then I invite you to fill out this registration form online by March 17 to provide us with your ideal location, day, and time. At the end of this initial registration period, I will then meet with leaders to look at the entire list and form groups according to preference so we can accommodate your schedule as much as possible. You will then be notified by your group leader about when and where your Spiritual Formation Group will meet.
Our mission statement at theHeart is “Reconciling people to God and each other through Christ’s Love. Simple.” And we believe these Spiritual Formation Groups will be one more opportunity for us to live out this mission and to encounter God and grow closer with one another in deeply life-giving ways.
More About Pastor Graham
As the Relational Care Pastor, Graham is responsible for developing ways for our church family to grow deeper and care better for one another. In addition to growing our Spiritual Formation Groups ministry, Graham continues to develop and lead our Prayer Team and Relational Care Team.
Are in interested in joining a Spiritual Formations Group? Do you want to learn more about Relational Care at theHeart. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.