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building a community to reach a community

Community Matters

In life, we cross paths with many people in various arenas, such as school, sports and work. It’s those common activities that typically dominate the conversation, and we often come away with superficial relationships, though many hours may be spent together. As life has become busier, I really appreciate meaningful and lasting friendships, and it’s for this reason that I’m truly thankful to be a part of a community group at GFC.

My husband, John, and I have been a part of a community group for 10 years. We’ve been blessed to make some of our closest friends through being involved in a group. Our current group mainly consists of married couples with young children. We have a lot in common, but most of all we share a desire to be a part of Christ’s community and know Him more.

It seems like each year our group takes on a new form, with various studies or new couples transitioning in or out. But one thing is always constant - God. It’s neat to see how God puts specific people together, or how He directs us towards certain studies for specific times in our lives. We enjoy learning together and challenging each other, but we also like just spending time together, whether it is at a kid's birthday party, lunch after church, or our Sunday meetings. Our group is authentic and trustworthy, and no one acts like life is always perfect. When I have struggles as a wife, parent, or in my walk with Christ, I know that in sharing it with my group, I will not be judged, but loved and encouraged.

I believe that God calls us to reach outside of the church and impact our community. It is not always free of challenge, but it’s enjoyable, unifying, and rewarding for our group to serve together. We’ve enjoyed serving a monthly meal and getting to know the folks at Rise Up! After several years of preparing the same meal for the kids, they formally refer to us as the “Chicken Nugget Group!” It’s also fun to serve together during Echo week or reach out as a group when one of us knows someone in need. Additionally, we like providing our kids with the opportunity to serve, and we look forward to the time when our families can go on a mission trip together.

Lastly, being a part of a community group provides connection. It can be easy to simply just go to church without being a part of the church. Though involvement in a community group requires a commitment to be involved in each others' lives, I believe developing real relationships and spiritual growth are well worth the investment!

Jennifer Crowe

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