Think back to the first time you came to the Rock. What words come to mind of how you felt that day? Overwhelmed? Intimidated? Were you just straight out 'skurred??' In the sea of faces, could you find the one person you knew? Or were you frantically scanning the many rows for that friendly smile, trying to act like it was no biggie and you'd been there a hundred times before?
For most newcomers to the Rock, the atmosphere can be a little overwhelming. Large projection screens, a massive stage, bright lights and people, people, people! Did you just walk into a concert?? No, no it's the Rock Church. It's true that the Rock is blessed with a large body of members. With more than five thousand people in attendance at church every Sunday, it'd be impossible to get to know everyone at the Rock. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't make the effort.
Belong - Don't Just Believe
Meeting with other Christians during the week is key to a strong walk with Christ
Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life (a book that all Rock Church small groups were called to study together last fall), says we "are called to belong, not just believe." Romans 12:5 tells us that we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
As followers of Christ, we are called to fellowship with one another. Now, if you're as clueless as I was as a new believer, you're probably wondering, "What is fellowship?" Pastor Warren says that it is "unselfish loving, honest sharing, practical serving, sacrificial giving and sympathetic comforting." (Another good way to find out what it is is by signing up for the Rock U Foundation 100 class!)
So, how do we fellowship with each other? Well, you can try to do it at church amongst the hundreds of people, over the loud music, but it might prove to be a little difficult! Real fellowship can only be experienced in a one-on-one relationship or in a group-a small group!
We Are Family
Whether you're brand new to the Rock or have been around since the beginning, there's always an opportunity to meet someone new! And if you're not taking advantage of at least one of those ways, you're missing out! After all, we're family!
If you've ever asked yourself, "How can I get to know the people at the Rock?" Here are some answers:
- Take a Rock University class! It's free!
- Join a ministry. Where is God calling you to serve?
- And one of the best ways of all--Join a Rock Church small group
Taking That First Step
You may meet some of your best friends at small group
When I first came to the Rock a little over a year ago, God was definitely calling me to get involved in the church. I really wanted to get connected to this huge, massive body of believers somehow, some way! My roommate, Stacy, who had been going to the Rock for some time invited me to join her small group. (Stacy leads the Usher/Greeter team at the 9:30 service---stop by and say hi to her!)
I'd seen the Sunday announcements to "join a Rock Church small group today!" I thought, if it was that important to the Rock, it must be worth checking out. Honestly, it was a little intimidating at first. All these people speaking their brilliant minds, so knowledgeable about the Bible, praying out loud-what did a new believer like me have to offer?? What could I get out of this?
Investing the Time
As it turns out-a lot. After a few weeks of remaining on the sidelines, listening attentively, soaking up all the dialogue, I slowly started to voice my opinions. Nowadays, you can't get me to stop talking! The more I went, the more comfortable I felt. I asked tons of questions, and I still do! I love that I have an environment in which I truly believe that 'there are no stupid questions.' Through my small group, I learned to pray with others and for others. I even learned to offer up my own requests for prayers without feeling embarrassed.
Small group has become a very vital part of my life. Not only have I been able to dig deep into God's Word and have awesome discussions that challenge my thinking and help me grow in my faith, I've also made some truly great friends. A few months ago, God gave Stacy and I with the opportunity to host our own group. Before that, I thought it was an incredible blessing to just be part of a group, but hosting one has just blessed our lives and our home ten times over.
If you haven't already, find a small group today
Our group meets on Wednesday nights, which for me, couldn't be more perfect. It's right in the middle of my crazy workweek and allows me to refocus and regain perspective on my life and what's important. Galatians 6:2 calls us to bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Small group helps me to see the bigger picture and takes the focus off myself-something that we can all get caught up in.
Most importantly, I'm able to spend a couple hours deep in God's Word with a diverse and beautiful group of people. Each of us brings something unique to the group, and that enriches the experience all the more.
If you're not in a small group yet, what are you waiting for? Still holding on to your excuses? "I don't have time" or, "I will, just not right now." There's no better time than right now. Browse the Rock website and let God help you find the small group that's right for you. There are so many different groups to choose from that there really is a group out there for everyone. Believe me, it will be one of the best things you ever do.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Find a small group now.