What are Care Groups?
Grace Community Church's care group ministry identifies itself with our purpose statement of "equipping God's people to delight in His glory and declare that glory to the nations." These care groups meet together regularly in a non-church setting to help us pursue this goal of delighting in and declaring God's glory in a very personal and practical level.
This is accomplished through...
1. Encouraging one another (i.e., fellowship and biblical application) day after day in our battle against attitudes of unbelief that arise in our hearts to steal our joy in God (cf., Hebrews 3:12-13; 10:23-25);
2. Building up one another (i.e., ministry and discipleship) in faith through the use of spiritual gifts that God freely distributes to His body as He wills for the purpose of edification, so that we might become mature in Christ (cf., Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 14: 12, 26; Hebrews 2:4); and
3. Pursuing our joy in God (i.e., worship and evangelism) through the multiplication of worshipers for the glory of God in our community and beyond.
Groups may vary according to age, special needs/interests, geographical location, family orientation, etc., but they seek to make the above three areas the goal of their existence.
How do care groups function?
Care groups are the basic units for Christian Community at GCC. These groups are made up of 5-20 people in which the body-life of the church is lived out through the development of intimate relationships, the discovery and use of spiritual gifts, the discipline of discipleship, the going "outside the camp" (cf., Hebrews 13:13) to bring others to Jesus, and through making Christ supreme in every part of our lives. It is within a small group such as this that the ministry of GCC and the Body of Christ becomes most effective in our lives.
These small groups meet every other week for about two hours. Every group is unique due to the blend of gifts, interests and personalities of group leaders and members.
Why should we have small groups like these?
The biblical basis for these small groups is very strong. The early church had them (cf., Acts 2:46; 12:12; 20:8; 20:20; Romans 16:4-5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Philemon 2). Furthermore, many biblical commands given to the church seem to require them. These especially include commands for Christians to minister to one another (cf., Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25; Galatians 6:2; Colossians 3:16; James 5:16; 1 Peter 4:8-9; Ephesians 4:32).
The very "one anotherness" of these commands necessitates Christian fellowship contexts small enough for our ministry to one another to be truly mutual. Combining this strong biblical basis with our own experiences in the effectiveness of small group ministry (and with the experience of countless other Christians throughout the world) gives a very strong rationale for GCC to pursue the "Small Group Vision."
Our prayer is that every able member and regular attender of GCC will view participation in a care group as an integral part of their privilege and responsibility that comes with being a part of the Body of Christ. In this way, God desires to satisfy our deepest needs in Himself and empower us to help meet the needs of others.
2013 Care Groups
At GCC, Care Groups are the primary means by which believers are strengthened in discipleship and challenged by way of biblical accountability. Therefore, every member is strongly encouraged to be a part of one of these groups! We have groups regularly meeting in Glen Rose, Granbury, and Stephenville. The groups meet in various homes on the first, second, and third Wednesday of each month, from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m., with the second Wednesday being a "Family Fellowship Night". If you are part of a Glen Rose group, your kids will be ministered to at GCC the first and third Wednesday of the month, and the "Family Fellowship Night" will include the entire families at the various Care Group meeting locations. These locations are published in the "GCC Information & Happenings" insert of the Sunday morning worship guide. If you are not part of a Care Group and would like to be, please call the church office and we will gladly help you connect with a group (254-897-3320).
This year, we have chosen to offer the same study for all of the groups, as God continues to build us up in love and sound doctrine. We will be studying the beatitudes by way of a book called When Grace Transforms by Terry L. Johnson. We pray that this study and time together in smaller gatherings will strengthen us in such a way that God's glory is increasingly reflected to our community and to the nations.