At Grace Church, we understand profoundly that the Christian life was never meant to be lived in isolation. Every week we gather to feast on the gospel, but then we are sent out to live in light of the gospel. Our living is not lonely, since we have been united by faith with other believers in Jesus. Our groups are the way we are encouraged to live out the effects of the gospel in our day-to-day life.
The goal of our groups are two cultivate two things: gospel-centered belonging and missional discipleship.
The whole story line of Scripture is one of God creating and drawing a people to himself. Our good news is a communal, unifying gospel, uniting not just man to Christ but man to man. Gospel-centered belonging is a belonging that is created, sustained, and grown through the unifying power of the gospel. It is a belonging that goes beyond personal preference or specific affinities and interests. It brings people together in a unique way, it helps them maintain unity when life and circumstances change, and it lets everyone around know that anyone can get it on this. Belonging in our groups is fostered by confession of sin and need, repentance from sin and a turning towards gospel truth, and a shared life together where we strive to meet needs and have life in common.
Once called into belonging, the people of God do not just sit on their hands. The unity that comes in the rehearsal of the gospel also comes in action that flows from the gospel. The mission of the church is very simple: to make disciples of Jesus. Discipleship, or learning to follow Jesus, happens in our groups through study and application of Scripture, a consistent rhythm of prayer for one another and the lost, and finally through accountability to our mission.
In these rhythms of confession, repentance, shared life, Scripture, prayer, and accountability, we aim to develop both belonging and discipleship together as a church family.
Why practice confession?
In our groups, we make it a point to make a habit of confession of sin and need, both general and specific. Confession is awkward and difficult, but it orients our hearts to the gospel of grace and prepares us to respond in repentance and to believe the gospel when it is spoken to us.
Grace Church has two kinds of groups, which operate in tandem with one another to create belonging and discipleship.
Community groups exist to lead the people of Grace Church into gospel-centered belonging and missional discipleship through confession and repentance, shared life, the study of Scripture, prayer, and accountability to our mission. These groups meet weekly in the homes of members all around the city and are made up of a diversity of people in the church.
Discipleship groups exist to foster belonging and discipleship by practicing the rhythms of the community with a deeper and more intentional lens. These groups consist of three to four members of the same gender and are organized by our community group leaders with the aim of deepening spiritual growth within community.