Anytime we are asked to try something new, there is comfort in knowing that others have also tried it, survived it, and maybe even enjoyed it. Whether you are tasting a new dish, visiting a new place, or starting a new hobby, there is a comfort that comes from hearing the effects that it has had on others. Starter Groups is no exception to the rule. Each time that we offer to people at Mercy Hill this opportunity to learn about what life in community looks like, there is an element of uncertainty involved.
In an attempt to ease any hesitation that you may have about joining us this coming Wednesday night, we want to offer some feedback from people who have participated in Starter Groups within the past year. Check out these responses!
What was one thing that most surprised you about your experience at Starter Groups?
“I was surprised to meet a variety of people from a variety of stages and walks in life. It was encouraging to see the diversity in the body of Christ and the unity we share in the gospel.”
“It surprised me how the group was outspoken and willing to share in discussion, and the diversity of ages and backgrounds of the people attending.”
“I had forgotten that everyone attending was in the same boat as me. Even though we weren’t all new to Mercy Hill, all of us were getting involved in community at Mercy Hill for the first time.”
Looking back, how did Starter Groups best prepare you to join a Community Group?
“Hearing the details of what to expect and simply how Starter Groups emulates the structure of community group. It prepares those new to this concept of groups and helps establish a comfort level.”
“Starter groups prepared me for what community group would look like, the format, the depth & the opportunity to build relationships.”
“Starter groups got me in the routine of meeting weekly (in addition to the weekly gathering) with other believers for the purpose of community and further application of the Word of God.”
If you were talking to someone who is thinking about signing up for Starter Groups, what would you say?
“I would encourage them to sign up and begin the routine of meeting weekly in a smaller setting outside of the service. Discipleship happens in community. Both Starter Groups and Community Groups provide the opportunity for getting to know other believers in a smaller setting and for stirring one another up to love and good works (Heb. 10:24-25).”
“I would share my husband & I’s reluctance to join in deeper community because of our life circumstances, but once we became a part of it, we realized God placed us there for the support and church community we would need in the days ahead with what we were facing. I am thankful for God’s nudging. So, trust God and dive in!”
I would tell them that, “It is a must toward jump-starting your connection with Mercy Hill, furthering the connection of individuals with our church, and preparing us for the community group atmosphere.”
Our next Starter Groups session runs September 6, 13, 20, and 26 from 6:30pm-8:00pm at our Regional Road Campus. Each gathering stands alone and uses the same leader guide that our Community Groups are being taught from, includes dinner, and is a great way to meet new people.
Please visit www.mercyhillgso.com/startergroups to sign up and join us this coming Wednesday night or any Wednesday in September.
-Jonathan Spangler (Community Groups Coordinator – Community Ministry)