Archive for the ‘Small Groups’ Category
Almost two years ago, I finished my last semester of college and landed an internship in Atlanta. It only took a few weeks of my post-graduate life to begin to love my newfound lifestyle. It was amazing. I loved my job. I loved being away from the stress of class and school.
The only problem was . . . I didn’t seem to have community.
I had friends. After all, Facebook told me I had 1,200 of them.
But after four years of college, so many of my friends had either gotten jobs in other cities, were in serious relationships, or were still in school. It was like starting all over again—except a little bit harder. I began to ask the question, “How am I supposed to meet people in a big city?”
I wanted people to do life with.
So during the first few months of living in Atlanta, my biggest prayer became: I’m not sure what your plan is . . . but God, I need people.
Weekend after weekend went by with no plans, because I still didn’t know anyone! I had been going to North Point for two years by the time I graduated, and I always sat in the East Auditorium by myself. I loved it, but I pictured what it would be like to come to church and actually know people.
I continued to ask God for a community I could call home.
And then . . .
One day I was sitting in church when the “Ten Before” came on. There was a commercial for an upcoming Singles event called Movie on the Lawn. I almost fell out of my chair. This is exactly what I need! God has answered my prayer—well, not quite yet.
I called one of the few friends I did have in Atlanta and begged her to come with me to this event. I even talked her into buying a $5 ticket to play corn hole. We were set! I was counting down the days until I could finally say I had plans. It had been weeks.
And then my worst nightmare happened. My friend called the day of and said that she had sprained her ankle and would be unable to make it.
If I wanted to go, I would have to go by myself. So, after some debate, I took a leap of faith and just went.
I got out of my car and walked up to the corn hole sign-in table. When the girl checking me in looked at me, I immediately burst into my story about how I didn’t plan to come alone but my friend didn’t come and so on. The girls behind me overheard my conversation, and as it turns out, they needed one more person for their team.
God didn’t even let me stand there for more then three minutes by myself without sending someone to meet me.
I met five or six people that night. I walked back to my car afterwards in absolute awe of our heavenly Father. He met me there. I took a small leap of faith and he met me.
That was just the beginning. God did immeasurably more with this encounter than I could have ever possibly imagined.
I continued to meet people. I joined an Access Group, then a small group. I moved to Buckhead. I found community. I even started leading a small group. By the following January, God had brought so many new, incredible people into my life that I just broke down in a gratefulness that no words could even come close to describing.
For the past year I have had the privilege of serving as a leader of Singles Gatherings, where I get the opportunity to build community with groups of people every cycle. Every time, I pray for someone to walk in with a small leap of faith and to allow God to do immeasurably more.
Not even two years ago, I spent day after day in prayer for someone, a person, maybe two, that I could call my community. I trusted God with my first small step—and he was already there waiting for me.
Grateful for community,
Amber Kapish ::: Singles & Small Group Leader ::: Buckhead Church
To learn more about getting connected into Singles at Buckhead Church, visit www.buckheadsingles.org.
In case you missed Sunday’s announcement, check out this video for your last 2 opportunities to join a community group this fall. The bulletin inserts are also below.
If you are not already in a group, we hope you will take one of these steps to connect into community.
The Groups Team ::: Buckhead Church
Our small group is made up of six couples that have all been married three years or less. And while we really enjoy our weekly community group, we also enjoy spending time together outside of the normal Wednesday night group meeting.
We decided early on that serving was important, so we try to volunteer or do some type of community service every few months. The Intersect Project through Buckhead Church has been a great resource for us.
A few weeks ago, we participated in Buckhead Christian Ministries (BCM) Community Service Day. Hundreds of volunteers met at Chastain Park and divided up to serve all over the Atlanta area. Part of our small group spread mulch at Piedmont Park. That seems like a simple job, but it takes a lot of muscle to spread ten huge piles of mulch around trees and benches!
We had fun bonding and working as a team; it was a great day all around. It’s always rewarding to give back to our community, no matter how you do it. To have that opportunity and to serve with people you are “doing life with” makes it that much more rewarding.
I would encourage all small groups to incorporate community service into their groups in some way. Whether it’s helping another small group member move, participating in Operation Christmas Child, or volunteering for Intersect projects, it brings people closer together and fosters huge growth within the group. We have made lifelong friends in our married small groups, and I think a large contributing factor is taking time out of the normal routine to have “socials,” take trips, and serve our city.
Heidi Van Gorder ::: Married Community Group Leader ::: Buckhead Church
Heidi and her husband, Chase, have been leaders of their married community group for almost one year.
For more information about how to sign up for a service project, please visit www.theintersectproject.org.
On August 23, 24, and 25, we held our Mens, Womens, and Married couples GroupLink events at Buckhead Church. GroupLink is held twice annually in January and August with the purpose of connecting people into a community group. Around here, we are passionate about moving people from rows on a Sunday into circles of community groups during the week. As a result of our recent GroupLinks, 174 new circles were formed and over 1200 people were connected into a group. Here are a few things we are celebrating:
- We had a total of 187 incredible group leaders (a new record for us) who came to GroupLink to start a new community group.
- We had 269 extraordinary volunteers who served at one of our GroupLink events and embraced a “How can I help?” spirit for our attendees.
- Over 650 attendees took a BIG step and joined their first group at Buckhead Church.
- We released a brand new 8-week small group resource called Community that all of our new groups received at GroupLink as their first study.
- As strangers became fellow group members, we watched God do what only He can do.
Our heartfelt thanks to the many volunteers who served, the leaders who gave (and continue to give) of their time to lead, and the new small group members who came to join a group. We are praying for these new circles that are now meeting all around our city!
In case you missed our GroupLink event, there are still a few openings in some of our community groups. To see if there is a group in your area of town, visit www.buckheadchurch.org/grouplink and select FIND A GROUP.
Steve Giddens ::: Director of Group Life ::: Buckhead Church
We just wanted to remind you that GroupLink is coming up this weekend! Even if you haven’t registered, you can still come. Below is a list of your options for joining a group. Just show up on the night that’s right for you.
Thursday night – Men’s GroupLink
Friday night – Women’s GroupLink
Saturday night – Married Couples’ GroupLink
All GroupLinks will be held in the Auditorium, and we will have volunteers to assist you with parking. The event will start at 7:30 p.m., but plan to arrive at 7:15 p.m. so you can get checked in.
Before you come, please watch the video below so you’ll know what to expect.
We look forward to seeing you this weekend!
The Groups Team ::: Buckhead Church