From Katy Payne

Many of you know that I’ve attended this church for a long time. I’ve had a lot of meaningful experiences here, but in the last year, something has truly changed my life in a different way.

It’s our small group. In 2015 when we started the Year of The Word, Pastor Paul challenged our church to form small groups. Nathan and I immediately jumped on board, attended the leader training, and began praying about leading a group. And now about a year and a half later I can say that this group has become a core part of my life. Small group is something my whole family looks forward to.

We meet every week with five other families to eat dinner, visit, study something from God’s word and pray for each other. We rotate hosting among the entire group.  It’s a family affair with all our kiddos, so we are a big pile of about 20 taking over the home and filling every seat in the house. We enjoy a meal that the host family prepares. Then after dinner, all the kids head to a separate room and the adults begin the real heart of the small group session.

Our group is like a big family now. We’ve welcomed a baby, helped build a house, and prayed through multiple illnesses and personal struggles. We feed each other, share clothes, celebrate birthdays and cart around each other’s children.  When something happens to someone in our group, whether good or bad, it’s as though it happens to all of us.

Not only do we take care of each other, but we spur each other on spiritually. Our study time together in God’s word is rich. We don’t shy away from the hard topics or things we won’t all agree on. We challenge each other, learn from each other and leave from our time together changed. There is just something that happens in our study time together in the living room that can’t be replicated on a Sunday morning.

Like I said, our small group has changed my life.  I want for others to have this experience also. You might find your own similar community within your Bible study group or a group of close friends.  But if you are not experiencing God in community like this and you have a desire to do so, I would be so glad to help you find it.

There are six small groups from our church that meet regularly. Two of those groups started just recently in 2017. I’m excited about seeing that number increase. I will continue to pray that more small group leaders will emerge and that more meaningful community groups like these can form in our midst. Will you pray with me?

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