DON'T DO LIFE ALONE.
God never intended for the Christian life to be lived alone. God uses community to shape us, challenge us, encourage us, speak the truth in love to us, and to care for us. We believe that small groups are one of the most effective ways to connect with others, be obedient to God’s word (Hebrews 10: 24 - 25) and grow in Christ.
connect Group FAQs
How do I get plugged into a group? Signing up for the next available Foundations Course (offered 2-3x times a year) is the first step into small group community. Once you’ve completed the 7-week study, you will then be followed up with on your next steps of joining a small group.
Sometimes, your Foundations Course group will be such a good fit that you will continue for the remainder of the year as a group. Other times, your Foundations Course group will dissolve after the 7-weeks and then, ideally, each person will be placed in other open small groups.
A small group will be open until it hits capacity - somewhere around 8-12 people is a healthy size small group. During your time in a small group, you'll get to know new people and together walk through various studies on how and why God uses community to grow our faith. GVF’s small groups mainly exist as a way for people to connect other GVF’ers.
What if I don’t like my group? Finding the right small group is a lot like dating. Maybe the first person you go out with is your soul mate... but maybe not. If you're in an open group and it's just not clicking for whatever reason, you can opt out at any time – really, it’s ok. Then sign up for the next open group and try again.
How long do connect groups stay together? We ask that each small group commit to stay together for one school term (September – May). To have healthy and sustainable rhythms (and leaders), we ask connect groups to take a sabbatical between June – August or casually gather for socials and outreach.
What happens after one year? After one year, we want our groups to re-evaluate amongst themselves. Multiply? Dissolve? Carry on as normal? Shift focus from connecting to outreach? Fresh vision keeps groups from growing stale or on auto-pilot.
For the record, we will always encourage groups to multiply because that means more people will experience life transformation through life-on-life relationships with others committed to pursuing Christ. We like that. So we want every group from day one to start off with the expectation that, eventually, it will birth new groups. When, though, will be up to the connect group leaders and the members in the group.
How often do connect groups meet? The greatest benefit of connect groups comes through relationships, and relationships don’t happen overnight or in monthly get-togethers. Therefore, we ask groups to meet weekly or (almost) weekly and for participants to commit to faithfully attend each and every meeting, except in the case of unavoidable conflicts – Netflix does not count.
What are we going to study? While we might have one or two studies a year that we want all the groups to cover, overall, we want groups to decide what they want to study on their own. We’ll provide your leaders with some different curriculums to choose from, and feel free to offer up your own suggestions. We also encourage groups to adopt the 1 - 4 - 1 rhythm when gathering – 1 social activity, 4 group meetings, 1 service activity.
Who's invited? For the sake of building safe relationships, once your group is through it's "open" period, groups are closed groups. However, we want our groups to be intentional about reaching out to friends and neighbors with the Gospel though our BLESS (Begin with prayer, Listen, Eat together, Serve, and Share your story) strategy.