Below is a very candid description of what Community Groups have meant to Greta Daigle, a member of Cobblestone. As she says they are not perfect, but they "bring the old bible stories to life in a way that made them relevant to our lives today."
When I was first approached about joining a community group, I was totally against it. I was already giving up one game night a month to go to a consistory meeting, and having gone to many bible studies in my life and found them boring, I really didn’t want to commit to yet another bible study. I usually prefer quiet bible reading on my own, where I can have a quiet just God and me time.
I also have a problem driving at night, and hate having to ask people for rides. If I joined yet another group, I would have to bother people more often. But I found that there was a group on Wednesday nights, which meant I only had to go one night a month. The first Wednesday of the month I already had a commitment to the Church Game Night that I host at the church.
I started going to the community group at the Reece house, and to my surprise, found that I really enjoyed it. The fellowship and sharing was much more than just a bible study. We shared a meal before we discussed anything, and I got to know members of the church that I otherwise would have only known on a superficial, member of my church, level. Then as we discussed the questions raised by Pastor John, I found that it brought the sermon of the week to life, and the sharing of life histories and how they related to what we were studying, brought us all closer together. It was a chance to bring the old bible stories to life in a way that made them relevant to our lives today.
This year, I was able to host a community group in my own home, which alleviates the problem of having to ask someone for a ride. Although there was a lack of communication about community groups starting fresh each year, or the reason for doing that, we were able to create a new group that met at a time that was easier for some people. There still seems to be some hard feelings about the lack of communication, but this can be another learning experience. By having different people in the group this year, I am forming a closer relationship with more people that I didn’t really know that well before the group. We follow the apostle’s teaching to come together a break bread, share fellowship and share the teaching of God’s word in a way that makes the bible more relevant to our lives today.
I would advise anyone that has reservations about joining just another bible study, to try it out before you make the final decision about community groups. I was pleasantly surprised. You may be too.
The only real negative I can say about community groups is that one of the goals of a community group is not only to develop a deeper relationship between members of the church, but to also reach out to the community. So far, we have pretty much failed on that score.
These groups are not perfect and we are still trying to figure out how to best serve the greater community, but we believe that they are steps in the right direction. If you are interested in joining a Community Group email John (firstname.lastname@example.org)