When the Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff immigrated to the United States, he said that the thing he loved most about America was the grocery stores. He said, “I’ll never forget walking down one of the aisles and seeing powdered milk; just add water and you get milk. Right next to it was powdered orange juice; just add water and you get orange juice. Then I saw baby powder, and I thought to myself, What a country!” What if spiritual maturity were that easy? Imagine some kind of powder you could mix with water and have instant spiritual maturity.
It’s been said that vision begins by asking the right questions. Here at Elim we have been asking questions like:
- Is the teaching of the Bible at the core of who we are as a church?
- Do we have a clear plan for teaching people of all ages the Bible?
- Are we growing as Christians in maturity together?
- Are we serving God, our church and our community together?
- Are we increasing in love and care for one another?
So, what is our plan for deepening the spiritual lives of people? While there is no formula for instant spiritual growth, we believe that spiritual growth develops from two basic commitments:
- A commitment to God and the Bible.
- A commitment to significant Christian relationships.
To help people develop these relationships, we are launching “Growth Groups”: home Bible study groups that are based on the previous Sunday’s message. These “sermon-based” Growth Groups will meet weekly to share, study God’s word, ask questions and support one another spiritually. We believe that the simplest and best tool for connecting people to one another and engaging them with the Bible for the long haul is home based study groups.
Our first 10-week session will begin late September 2014. Learn more during our upcoming information session on May 7, 7:00 pm in the Fireside Room.
Growth Group FAQs
A Growth Group is a home fellowship made up of 10 12 people who meet weekly to study, to share, and to support one another in their Christian lives. A trained leader and a host lead each group. A typical meeting lasts for an hour and a half, followed by light refreshments.
The importance of growth groups cannot be overstated. They are the place where the real ministry of the church takes place as we encourage, support, and challenge one another. God doesn’t want any of us to be left to walk alone – we need each other. We want to be a church, not a crowd!
Each Growth Group will determine what day and time works best for them. They will meet in the home of the host.
Each Growth Group session lasts 9-10 weeks. We will strive for two sessions as we begin. The fall session will run from late September to November. A Winter/Spring session will run from February to April. At the end of each session, you have the choice of staying in the same group, trying a new group, or even taking a break. Most groups stay together throughout the entire year.
Our Growth Groups will follow a “sermon-based” model. Therefore the studies will be based on the previous Sunday’s sermon. Each week there will be a series of Bible passages and questions to study and complete before your meeting. The homework is included on the back of the sermon note sheet found in your bulletin.
We suggest you join a group based on your “station in life” rather than on geography or the most convenient night of the week. We’ve found that a group works best when you share common interests, backgrounds, marital status or similar aged children.
Church wide sign-ups begin at the start of each new session. You can also sign up before or after any Sunday worship service or by calling the church office. Our pastors and staff will be happy to help you find just the right group for you.
Those who are new to the church (start attending in the middle of a session) can sign-up and join any group that has openings without waiting for the start of a new session.