Get Connected to a Community Group!
  Lately, you have heard a huge push for community groups to be started here at First Hammond. Why, though? Why do the ministerial staff and deacons so strongly agree that community groups are a vital part of our church? Why are we asking people to open their homes, to teach a community group, or even just be a part of a community group? Well, I brought in the big guns for this question. Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, writes the following in his article The Importance of Launching New Groups:

“During my church consulting days, I could quickly assess a church’s multiplication mentality by asking just one question: How often do you start new groups (or classes)? I would ask the question because I’d seen over and over again a close relationship between the churches that were growing and those who constantly launched new groups. The churches working hard to launch new small groups and Sunday School classes on a regular basis were continually connecting new people and building believers who were passionate about what the Lord was doing through His Church. Thus, they were growing.

The principle is obvious: If you want to connect new people in church, you must launch new groups.”

Here is what I need you to get. Community Groups are a God-given, Christ-magnifying tool in our work of the Great Commission. This is the reason they are so important to our church! Not only will we see people come to know the saving grace of Jesus through community groups, but we will see people come to walk daily in the saving grace of Jesus. Some of you may say that you’ve outgrown community groups or that you’re too old for them. Allow me to graciously correct that philosophy with the words of Paul. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1.6, ESV). Brother or Sister, you’re not complete.

I urge you, just as Peter, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3.18, ESV). Come, grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus through community groups. We have a place for you!

Thom Rainer’s full article can be found at his website http://thomrainer.com/2013/05/the-importance-of-launching-new-groups/