Fall has officially begun, and with fall comes the start of a new ministry year. This year we have so much to look forward to as God leads our church into 2015. We are excited to announce a large addition to our discipleship path here at Northwest Hills.
For the better part of a decade, our discipleship path was predominantly built out of Interaction Groups. These groups met weekly, mostly on Sunday mornings, and were based around life stages. For the people that regularly participated in these groups relationships were strong, learning was regular, and many would say they were going well.
However, what became blatantly clear was how limited we were in terms of getting more people involved. For countless reasons, involvement was limited by individual relational capacity, room availability and leadership constraints. We also saw that, for the better part of a decade, we had a discipleship system that worked well for only a small percentage of adults who called Northwest Hills home.
As a leadership team we looked at that method of discipleship and asked the question, “Is there a way to get more people into relationships that will spur one another on toward Christian maturity?” What birthed out of that conversation was Community Groups—small groups that meet in homes, not necessarily based around life stages, where we are no longer relationally and spatially limited in the way that we previously were. Since we made the change to Community Groups, we now have almost twice as many people in a discipleship environment.
We knew that the strength of these groups would come in the form of relationships, prayer, accountability and follow-through to the Sunday messages. What we also knew was that there would be a weakness with these groups alone, predominantly in the area of educational content. So, these groups might not be the best place to do an in-depth study of the Bible book of John, or apologetics, or church history.
Knowing this—we made a plan to simultaneously start offering Sunday morning Core and Elective Classes. Classes that address issues that can’t easily be taught in the Community Group setting. Examples of Core Classes are Bible Study Methods, Church History, and Systematic Theology. Elective Classes might include Marriage and Families, World Missions, or Christians in Business.
Our hope is that we have a discipleship path where people will grow through relational environments like Community Groups, and through content-based environments like Core and Elective Classes.
Classes begin this month, so be sure to check the program and website to find out more!
Posted on October 2, 2014