Groups

“Helping people to find a place to belong and live in full enjoyment of God.”

Small groups give everyone a place to connect to God and one another in smaller communities.  Whether you have been walking with God for awhile or are just beginning to explore spritual life, being a part of a small group will help you on the journey. For some, a small group is a great place to grow as a disciple, a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ.  For others at the beginning of their spiritual journey, a small group provides a safe place to ask questions and explore what it means to have a personal relationship with God.   For all, being in a group will help each person to truly experience the LIFE (Live In Full Enjoyment of God) Christ has promised us.   A small group helps each member grow in three key areas that are essential to becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ.  As we spend time together we will grow deeper in Communion with God, Community with other believers, and Compassionate engagement with our world (see the Three "C's" below for more details).  To find out more about group life here at Bethany contact Ann McGhee at ann@bethanylaurel.org or fill out the Connection Card at one of worship services and mark the box for small groups! 

The Three "C's" of Small Groups at Bethany

We are committed to small groups at Bethany because we are convinced that spiritual growth was designed by God to take place in community.  To grow to become a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ, a disciple, we need one another.  Small groups allow us to build relationships where we can truly experience LIFE (Live In Full Enjoyment of God) together.

"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. . .  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:11-14,15-16

To live in full enjoyment of God means growing in . . .

 1.  Communion with God - intimacy, honesty and depth of relationship with God.

Loving God with all our whole life and following Jesus example of intentionally spending time alone with God.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."  Mark 1:35

Knowing his grace and truth in increasing measure each day.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:11-13

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

Growing as faithful disciples in a lifelong commitment to learn His commands and live them out daily.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.Matthew 28:8-20

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” 2 Timothy 2:2

2.  Community with other believers –  means doing life together with other group members, so that each person can enjoy ongoing and life supporting relationships as they walk the road of faith.

Growing in love and affection for one another by spending regular time with a group of believers where we can encourage one another to remain sincere and pure in our devotion to Christ.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrew 10:23-25

Enjoying practicing the many “one another’s” of scripture: love one another, speak the truth in love to one another, bear one another’s burdens, confess your sins to one another, etc.

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”  Romans 12:10

Discovering and using the spiritual gifts God has given us to help bring our whole church to maturity in Christ.

“So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:5-8

 3.  Compassionate Engagement - with the world where we can reach out and tangibly share the love of Christ with the community around us . . .

In our neighborhoods, workplaces, cities, state and nation to care for the poor, the oppressed, the abandoned, the disenfranchised, and the “throwaways of our society.”

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

In mission efforts around the world to help the lost find the love of Jesus Christ.

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19

By encouraging one another to share our story of faith.

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:14-15      

Praying for one another to be salt and light in our homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-15

All scripture is used by permission from: The Holy Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

 

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