"The Gospel of Christ knows of no religion but social; no holiness but social holiness."
Christians were never meant to be isolated from one another -- it's just not God's design for us. From the very beginning of the Church, people have gathered together in small groups, usually in people's homes, for worship, Bible Study, and prayer, and as they did they were able to grow closer to God and each other.
The Methodist movement also finds its origins in these sorts of groups. The first people to be called "Methodists" gathered once per week in small groups, usually 10 to 12 people, and asked each other a simple question: "How is it with your soul?" In modern language, this would be something like, "How's your spiritual life?" And as each person in the group explained the details about their spiritual practices during the previous week, testified to where they had seen God working, and shared the things that burdened them most, an amazing thing began to happen -- revival broke out! Lives were changed, relationships were mended, addictions were overcome, and people began to experience the joy and fullness of life that God designed for them.
Friends, we can enjoy that same sort of revival today.
"How is it with your soul?"
As we are trapped at home by the invisible threat of a virus, our need for community has not lessened. And indeed, God can and will continue to work through these sorts of communities even when we have to meet digitally! So, what we want to offer you is an opportunity to join a small group of people, maybe between 5 and 8, to ask and answer this question. In fact, this is such a powerful way for the Spirit to work that you're not only invited, but encouraged to join in!
What will a meeting look like?
For now, as we're still practicing social distancing, these groups will meet over Zoom once per week, and you'll get to choose a time that works for you. The meetings will last about an hour, with each person answering the question, "how's your spiritual life this week?" individually without fear of interruption, criticism, or judgement. One of the most important parts of a group like this is that nothing ever, ever leaves the group without your permission. In order to feel safe and comfortable sharing our lives, we have to cultivate an environment of trust and love.
Feeling closer to God than ever? Great! Testify to His power.
Feeling more alone than ever? Tell us about what's burdening you!
As each person in the group shares, they'll have time to speak uninterrupted. When you're finished sharing, depending on how things are going, the leader of the group will either thank you, ask a question (for example, what kinds of devotional practices do you do?), or ask if the group can pray for you. If you say yes to prayer, there will be a moment for everyone present to join together and ask God to bring healing, peace, or whatever you need in your life -- this can be a life changing practice. Then, when the group has finished sharing, you'll be dismissed with a prayer.
Who's in charge?
Pastor Zac will join each group during their first week to get everything started, but after that will only be present if asked. Usually, the group will be led by an individual participant who will make sure the conversation keeps moving, that everyone has a chance to participate, and that things stay on-topic and appropriate during the designated time. You can think of them as a moderator more than anything. Most importantly, the leader will also be an active part of the group, sharing just as much as everyone else!
How do I get involved?
It's simple -- just fill out the form below with some details about yourself and your availability, and we'll help you get into a group. We're planning to launch this ministry in early June, so make sure you get your response in quickly! And as always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch -- you can contact us or get in touch Pastor Zac any time.