Small Groups at Christ Baptist – Questions and Answers
1. “Why have small groups at Christ Baptist?” That’s the most important question! All we do should have a strong biblical foundation and a specific purpose. Individually, small groups are a way of being and becoming mature followers of Jesus. Corporately, small groups are a way of being a New Testament church (Acts 2:42-47). Meeting with the same small group each week allows us to get to know one another so that we become accountable to one another for our faithfulness to Christ. We will “do life” with one another – encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:24), praying for one another (James 5:16), bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), and loving one another (John 13:34-35).
2. “How do small groups differ from our Sunday School ministry?” We will continue to be “a Sunday School church.” The main purpose of Sunday School is to reach people and teach them the Bible. We teach Bible content in our Sunday School classes. We have some of the best Bible teachers anywhere. Also, we work to reach as many people as possible for Sunday School – lost and unchurched people, new believers, and mature believers. We want as many people as possible to hear the Bible taught. Christians also fellowship with one another in Sunday School, but the emphasis in small groups is different. Small groups exist so we can encourage one another to apply Bible truths we have already heard and know. The small group setting also encourages the development of deeper relationships and greater life accountability.
3. “What will be the content of discussions in small groups?” Small group discussion will be based on the content of the Sunday morning sermon. Small group leaders will facilitate discussion about how to apply, how to live the Bible truth preached from the pulpit. The discussion will be guided by questions that flow from the Bible truth. At some point in the future, some small groups may wish to deviate from this content for a pre-determined period of time. Such innovations are allowed, but all content/curricula must be approved by the elders, and groups should remember that the purpose of small groups is not to learn new information but to apply and live God’s Word, plus fellowship with and pray for one another.
4. “Who do we want to be involved in small groups?” We want every adult member of Christ Baptist Church to be part of a small group. Groups will consist of an average of about 10-12 people, with no more than 15 in a group. It’s likely that most small groups will meet in the homes of members, and some will meet at the church.
5. “When will small groups meet?” We encourage small groups to meet on Sunday nights. We think this will be convenient for most people. First, some of our people are already accustomed to meeting for worship and Bible study on Sunday nights. Second, for parents of INVERT youth and AWANA children, Sunday night is already a “church night.” Third, Sunday night is a “free night” for most of us. Some small groups may choose to meet another night of the week, and that will be necessary especially for adults who serve in INVERT or AWANA on Sunday nights.
6. “How will small groups affect youth worship and AWANA?” These ministries will continue as in the past, and we pray that we will see more and more teenagers and children come to faith in Christ and grow as disciples through these ministries.
7. “Are we doing away with Sunday nights at Christ Baptist?“ We hope everyone will see that the ministry of discipleship will be very much alive at Christ Baptist on Sunday nights. We are using a different approach, and some people will meet in a different location, but our goals are the same – glorifying God through making disciples according to God’s Word, and “being the church” to one another. As for what will happen at the church on Sunday nights, some small groups will meet at the church, and AWANA and youth worship will also continue at the church.
8. “How does the small group ministry relate to our Wednesday night prayer time?” Over the years we have offered different approaches on Wednesday nights – Bible studies, small group Bible application, brief devotionals, and doctrine studies. What has not changed is that we have always invited all our people to gather to pray. That will continue. We prefer that our small groups not meet on Wednesday nights; we devote that night to corporate prayer.
9. “Will we ever have worship times on Sunday nights?” Yes. In the past we have had special celebration worship times on Sunday nights, and we will continue to do that. Several times each year all our small groups will gather at the church on Sunday night for corporate worship and celebration of what God is doing among us and through us.
10. “Will child care be available?” Yes, on Sundays 5:00 – 7:00 PM, and on Tuesdays 6:30 – 8:30 PM, for children birth to 11 years old.
11. “What if you are already in a small group?” Quite a few people in our church family already have formed small groups and those groups have multiplied over the past few months. We encourage you to stay in the same groups and share the same curriculum with the rest of the church family.
12. “What group will you be in, and who will be the group leaders?” Group leaders are currently being enlisted and trained. You will have the opportunity in multiple venues to sign up for a group.