We're entering an exciting stage of our community life at IGC. Next week we will start four new community groups that will meet around the East Bay.
Since our inception, small groups have been a integral part of our identity as a church. We started with a single small group that multiplied into two groups a few months after it began. We're doubling again now. As our church has grown, both our small groups have swelled in size.
It has been exciting to watch the groups grow but we know that there is a time for them to expand beyond their limited times and locales. We are multiplying the groups for a few reasons:
More leaders empowered. IGC has many people who are gifted who have shown faithfulness in various areas and have exhibited an eagerness to serve God through leadership for the community groups. The leaders and co-leaders will take on planning, administrative, and teaching roles as they head up the groups. By entrusting the community groups to the leaders, we are empowering them to push the church in ways the pastoral staff can't on its own.
More opportunities to serve. One of the best ways to grow is to serve. With fewer people in the groups (each will now have 8-12 members), there are more opportunities to serve by praying, leading studies, leading singing, ministering to other members of the groups, etc.
More intimacy. Larger groups can be intimidating and may be difficult for someone to share in such a setting. With smaller groups it is easier to create an environment where members can be honest and vulnerable with each other. We want the community groups to be more than social gatherings. We want them to be places where hurts, fears, doubts, confessions and anxieties can be shared. It is our hope that our groups will become places where deep, safe, intimate relationships can formed.
More options. With meeting places in San Leandro, Hayward, Castro Valley and San Ramon, the community groups are now more accessible. The larger number of groups also means a higher likelihood that someone considering joining a group can find one that he or she feels comfortable with.
This is a huge step for IGC as we continue to make the gospel known around the Bay Area. Please pray with us as we ask God to give life to these groups. If you would like to be a part of a community group, contact Pastor Wade so he can connect you with a group leader.