Our family has always been part of a home group.
Over the course of the last 17 years, my family and I have attended: a megachurch in California, a 5-year-old church plant in Utah, and a small church that celebrated its 50th anniversary in Illinois before arriving at Hope Fellowship in 2016. Every church, just like every family, has things about it that are awesome and a few interesting little…quirks.
One thing that helped my family truly connect to each church was joining a small group. No matter what the church called it, it was a group of multiple families that had a shared commitment to our church congregation. That is why my family joined a home group during our last Group Launch event at Hope.
It is in our home group that we do life together.
Our families celebrate each other. We celebrate birthdays, new jobs or promotions, our kid’s events, victories in dealing with personal issues or extended family members. Our families encourage each other through struggles and difficult times. We have prayed for each other, grieved with each other, and supported each other.
I have found that for my family, it is in a home group that our church becomes our family.
However, each home group we have joined required some effort. Sometimes, we were grouped with people we might not have chosen in a lineup for our next BFF family. The easiest thing for us to do would have been to lean into the excuses that popped up weekly and choose to miss a home group meeting in favor of a sports game (didn’t even have to be my kid’s), another dinner invite, or quite frankly, a bowl of popcorn and a good movie. But as a family, we decided our new home group would be the priority and we’re committed to showing up each time.
We also committed to engage with our home group.
After letting the kids know that we were committed to going each time, we all needed to commit to being kind, friendly, and engaging when we went. This looks totally different for each of us, but we would join in the conversations in our own ways. The last thing we committed to do was to be authentic as much as possible. The cool thing that would happen when we would open up and get real with each other is that others received us with compassion, not judgment.
Over time, a commitment to be there led to a desire to be there. Engaging in the group has led to us and our kids doing things together with other families. Being authentic with one another has helped us to truly support each other while trying to figure things out as parents, as employees, and as Christ-followers. The really cool thing for me is that my family’s story is just one of the hundreds of families with similar experiences.
Are you ready to truly allow the church congregation to be your church family? At Hope, we have 3 ways you can get into a home group.
If you happen to find people you really get along with while getting coffee in the lobby at your campus or while you are picking up kids from service, ask them if they are in a home group. If they are in a group of people they get along with and they get along with you, more than likely you could be a great fit for their group. If they are not in a group, get together with them and think of others you could be in a group with or contact your campus Spiritual Growth Pastor and ask about starting a group.
Find Your People Online
Go online to HopeFellowship.net/groups and click the link to “Find a Group.” There you will be able to look through the current home groups in your area and reach out directly to them.
Events at Hope
Hope will host “Find Your People” and “Group Launch” events that will allow you to find groups and launch new ones. The Grow teams work really hard to find appropriate groups for everyone, matching up location and stages of life as best they can for everyone.
At Hope, our prayer is that you will grow in your faith and in relationships. Home groups are a great way to do both as you experience family life together. Go find your people!