From the very beginning, God has wired us for community. Right at the start he made man and woman together in God’s Image – the God who lives eternally and perfectly in community as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Despite God’s intimate presence in the garden, it was not good for Adam to be alone – our lives have a kind of void that can only be filled by relationship with others.
[Small groups] are the closest thing to the electricity of the early church. Paul wrote his letters to basically small groups run amok …. If we don’t confess to each other and hear people affirm us, in the process we lose a sense of forgiveness. If we confessed what we really struggle with, that’d be electric.” – Bill Search
When we meet together and pray, learn, and confess to one another, God’s Kingdom is transforming us at it’s deepest. We can’t do it alone.
At the risk of groups becoming closed and cliquey – we aim for them to grow and multiply by being open, inviting, welcoming, and aiming to develop new leaders of connect groups.
What are Connect Groups?
HWBC Connect Groups are regular gatherings of 6-12 adults (+ kids), held in homes or cafes at different times during the week.
Why Join One?
Whether you are just starting to explore following Jesus, or have been living in God’s life for many years, there are several great reasons to join a connect group at HWBC, especially if you are new!
Connection – sometimes on Sundays it can be hard to have a good conversation in a larger crowd. Connect groups tend to be where we share our lives with each other, and may form life-long friendships.
Prayer & Confession – connect groups always have space for you to pray and pray for others, and to share our struggles, and receive ministry from one-another – this is spiritual fuel!
Community and Diversity – connect group members are diverse in age, background, theological views – why hang around people who all think the same as you all the time?
Encouragement and Practical Support – often it is your connect group who know what’s going on for you, what you need and how to provide it.
Spiritual Maturity – a connect group is a great space to discuss hard parts of the Bible, get more out of Sunday’s teaching, discuss wider view points or areas we can’t explore easily in a larger group, share books we’ve liked, watch movies together…
Connect Group Styles
Community groups – Relationship, shared meal, prayer for each other. Family friendly.
Bible Study groups – Bible study, either issue based or book-based or both. Adult-oriented.
Prayer groups – Spending a significant amount of time in prayer. Adult-oriented.
There is usually some overlap and blurring of the lines, e.g. a Bible Study group may also share a meal; a Community group will normally also include some (shorter) Bible study, younger people are welcome to join a Prayer Group or Bible Study. Not all groups will involve food, although most do. Some connect groups may also run short term, e.g. teaching through a specific book of the Bible for 10 weeks and then come to an end. These won’t be listed here but you will hear about them through the Portable Door mailing list.
How to Join
To join a connect group, you can just speak to the hosts directly. If you don’t know who they are, Beth Hislop (Connect Group coordinator, email@example.com) can introduce you.