I remember when my husband and I first moved to San Diego and were looking for a church home. We had come from a dynamic church and were concerned that we would not get spiritually fed the way we were at our previous church.
What we wanted more than anything was to find a place where we could continue to grow spiritually, fellowship with other Christians, and have a place where we could get involved in the ministry. Someone directed us to the Rock Church.
Of course like many, we felt a bit overwhelmed with the size of the Rock, so we kept looking around the city for a smaller congregation, but also a place that had a pastor who could bring a message across the way Pastor Miles could. Needless to say we didn't find a place, and kept returning to the Rock.
At this point, we were pretty sure that the Rock solved the problem of us finding a church home that fed our soul, but we still wanted to meet other Christians that we could fellowship with. One Sunday, Pastor Miles talked about the importance of getting involved with a Rock small group, because being in a church the size of the Rock one could easily get lost. Once we found a small group, we decided to make the Rock our church home because we no longer felt alone. We were getting to know other members and began to get more active in the church as well as our small group.
What's a Small Group?
One of the best ways to make friends is to join a small group
A small group is an intimate Bible study that takes place throughout the week at various locations, usually at someone's home. Normally the group comprises of six to 10 people. An outlet such as this is very beneficial in a church the size of the Rock, because it is so easy for members to get lost in the crowd, and it can be difficult to establish relationships in a church that size.
Pastor Miles continues to encourage the Rock members to get involved in a small group not only to meet people, but to also stay connected and grow spiritually.
During these Bible studies, the small group worships and prays together and discusses life application of the Word of God, all of which are hugely important. Evangelism and service are two other key components of and emphasized in small groups. There is always a host and a facilitator to make you feel welcome and to facilitate the Bible study. Oftentimes these individuals are one in the same.
How Can I Get Involved with a Small Group?
On the Rock's website, there is an extensive directory with something for everyone. There are groups that meet on different days of the week, at different times, and they are located all around San Diego County. Some small groups cater to women, men, married couples, parents, college students and more!
Once you have identified a small group that appeals to you, contact the host or facilitator that is listed and they will be able to confirm the day, time and location of the next meeting, and answer any questions you may have about the group. You may have to try several groups to find the right fit, but don't worry! There is a small group just for you!
What Can I Expect?
By being a part of a small group, it not only gives you an opportunity to meet other people, but it's also a wonderful opportunity to grow closer to God and learn the Bible. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalms 133:1
Each week, small group questions based the weekend message are posted on the Rock's website, and there are a handful of groups that are going through specific book studies in lieu of the weekly discussion questions.
This helps the facilitator lead group discussion, and it gives those individuals who might have missed the message or didn't quite understand everything, an opportunity to discuss it within a smaller setting. This is also a wonderful venue for sharing a testimony or praise report! You will connect with people that will welcome you, pray with you, and learn with you.
How Can I Become A Small Group Host or Facilitator?
God definitely works in small groups, providing an atmospehere where you can be encouraged and challenged
A year ago, Allan Gitobu and his wife Mercy, were one of many couples who were touched by Pastor Miles request for people to host a small group. Like others, of course many things probably went through their minds, such as, "What if no one shows up?" According to Allan, not only did people come, but now their group is no longer that small! He said that many people came, and all it took was "just their small step of faith".
Allan and Mercy's small group meets at their house in Poway and they have members that come from as far away as El Cajon and Clairemont! In September of 2005 they celebrated one year of hosting a small group, and they are more excited than ever about their small group.
Every other month the Rock Church facilitates leadership development opportunities. There are general sessions and sessions that are directed more towards small group leadership. Stay tuned for the next session.
The Gitobu's excitement shows through as they continue to spread the word about the advantages of being a part of a small group. I think Allan said it best when he expressed that "Christian or non-Christian, if you are lonely, want to grow spiritually, want to develop wonderful friendships and meet other brothers and sisters in Christ," find a small group!
Get Plugged In
Browse the small group directory now to find a group in your area that meets your needs.