"I still felt like something was just missing, that faith that God was waiting to give me." Melissa Felix said as she reflected on how she felt right before she joined a Small Group.
Melissa Felix, 27, has been attending the Rock Church for four years and joined her Friday night Small Group a year ago when her Marriage Counseling Pastor suggested it.
The Rock Church Small Groups were started over ten years ago with the intention of creating small, intimate environments in which Christians could meet, share life, grow, and do something together outside of the Sunday service. Small Groups aim to "Connect, Grow, Serve."
"I think that without my Small Group I would feel really lost in my faith," Melissa said.
Her Small Group was exactly what Melissa needed in all aspects of her life as she soon discovered.
"I'm going through a divorce right now. I got separated four months ago. And when that happened, I felt scared and lonely, because I don't have family here," Melissa said. "They encouraged me, and they prayed with me. They're like my friends, my family, my spiritual family. I became really attached to them. If they didn't hear from me during the week, they would check up on me to see if I was okay."
Christianity is not a solitary journey, but one that demands companions. As the book of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 said, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"
Luckily, Melissa had friends to help her up.
"When I [started my divorce], I thought I was going to be broken, and it hurtyes. But God has helped me learn to trust in Him. I had a lot of support," Melissa said. "They were really comforting and loving. Just like a family, like if they were my family."
God used her small group to get her through the separation, but that was not all God did.
"Because of Small Group, I feel like I am able to go and surrender everything to God, especially drinking, going out and all that stuff." Melissa said, "I feel really thankful for [my small group] because it transformed my life." Melissa really began to grow because of her Small Group.
"Even though I grew up in a Christian Church, I have learned a lot more in this past year than I ever learned in my life. And my faith has been as strong as ever. I'm totally devoted to God. My love for God has grown tremendously," Melissa said. "[The small group] has kept my faith in line, given me a lot of strength, encouraged me to do a lot more, and made me grow tremendously."
John Darrow, the Small Group Coordinator and Small Group leader, is pleased to hear about Melissa's great experience.
"I think it's great she found community in a Small Group," said John. "She was able to transition from a community that was destructive to a community that could help her build a relationship with Jesus."
Melissa is also in a Women's Small Group on Wednesday nights but still attends her Friday night group. She is serving in the Hospitality Ministry and is prayerfully looking into what God may have ahead for her.
"I feel very prepared. Going to Small Group has equipped me with God's word. On Sundays, [most people] just go and listen to Pastor Miles and then that's it. And sometimes you are like, 'okay, and then what happens?' So I think the Small Group is the best decision that I have made in my walk with God."
To learn more about Connecting, Growing, and Serving in a Small Group or leading a Small group, click here.