“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…”
House groups offer an environment for Christian community that complements what happens at Messiah on Sunday mornings. In the context of a small group of up to a dozen people, they provide a place for mutual support and encouragement through listening and participation, and together seeking God’s presence and guidance, healing and empowerment. The groups present a regular opportunity (usually weekly or bi-weekly) to grow spiritually through the study of God’s word, prayer, fellowship, and encouragement in ministry.
Choosing a group may be based on a number of criteria: location, meeting time, a common interest, or just knowing somebody already in a group. Each house group tends to have its own unique personality based on the individuals who make it up. Integrating into any new group takes time and commitment—and house groups are no exception. But you will find it well worth the effort, as you are nurtured and challenged in your faith, and helped to discover and use your God-given gifts for ministry, in a supportive community. If you would like to join a house group, or just find out more about what that might involve, please contact us and we will be glad to answer any questions you may have.
What is the purpose of a House Group?
In house groups, around a dozen members gather regularly to enjoy fellowship, study scripture, share their lives, and pray. These gatherings provide a safe place to grow spiritually through listening and participating, encouraging and accepting, and acknowledging God’s presence and guidance. House groups discern and encourage members’ leadership abilities and ministries by doing group service projects, and by being open to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
How do I select a House Group?
When selecting a house group, location and meeting times are important considerations, since most house groups meet weekly. Another thing to consider is how well you know the people in a house group. Some people prefer a group in which they do not already know others as well, while others prefer a house group in which they have close friends. In general, it is recommended that married couples belong to the same house group.
How do I join?
Contact the church office for more information and you will be directed to a house group or talk to someone you know who is in a group. A house group leader will contact you with information about their group and an invitation to visit.
Once I visit, what’s next?
After visiting, you may make a six-week commitment to the group. If it is a good fit, let the house group leader know you plan to stay. However, if the group does not seem right for you, either then or anytime thereafter, talk to the leaders or to the church office staff.
Now that I am part of a House Group, what can I expect?
Allow yourself time to integrate in the group. As a new member, it may take several weeks or even longer before this group feels like family. Generally, house group members evaluate their commitment to the group annually. You can expect to grow spiritually, to enjoy the fellowship and study, and to find your own ministry.