connecting in circles
What do you, an Olympic cyclist, a single mom, a young couple, and a woman who drives trucks for a living, have in common? In a word, the answer could be transformation. Each one has been, and is currently still being, transformed by their participation in a small group community that is centered on the study God’s Word!
What do I know about being in a Bible-focused community?
I am married to the pastor of a mega church. Yes, we have big buildings. Now we also have a big tent to accommodate big outdoor meetings. We’ve even filled stadiums for many years with large scale events and those have been fantastic!
But some of the greatest transformation moments in my life have happened in small groups.
I have learned about love, support, encouragement, comfort, growth, and help in time of need. I have discovered and seen the gifts of the Holy Spirit working through ordinary people in everyday life.
I see it. I feel it. I experience it. And I thrive spiritually because of it!
I could tell you story after story over the years.
But I’ll limit it to these particular ones from the past few months.
Let me tell you about my friend Amber. She is an Olympic cyclist currently training for the 2021 Olympics. With a training and racing schedule that often took her out of town for long periods of time, Amber has never been able to regularly attend midweek Bible studies. Attendance was sporadic at best, if not impossible for her. Since COVID, not only has she been able to meet in a small group, but now she can actually lead a group online through Zoom technology from wherever she happens to be in the world! Ladies are joining her from Canada to Colorado to New Zealand—thousands of miles apart, yet still connecting and growing together in God’s Word.
Let me tell you about Lori, whose mother was diagnosed with COVID while visiting family in Mexico. Her mom was put on a ventilator, very ill, at death’s door. She was without funds to pay for hospital care in a different country. Lori’s small group rallied around her to help financially and also to care for her young adult son who needed a “surrogate” mother while his mom was in Mexico caring for his grandmother.
Let me tell you about Vivian and her husband, Vu. After giving birth to their daughter last month, Vivian suffered post-delivery complications and nearly lost her life. Their couples’ group rallied together, meeting outside the hospital to pray, as did the entire church, over the ensuing days as Vivian battled one setback after another. Praise the Lord, she survived! Their small group is continuing to care for them by providing meals for the family while Vivian is still recovering.
Let me tell you about a woman who always wanted to attend the Virtue Bible study and be part of a small group. She drives a truck for a living and her only day off is on Monday. No study groups met on Mondays, but because of COVID, groups began meeting online. This allowed leaders to be flexible with changing to a more convenient day and time. Within minutes of hearing this woman’s need, we were able to place her in a group that meets on Monday night! She was in tears of joy over being able to join Bible for the first time ever!
I share these stories with you as living evidence of the transforming value of connecting in circles with believers who seek to know Jesus, and be disciples who love and support one another.
Do you want to be part of a tight-knit circle of believers who study God’s Word together, who discover their gifts, and want to serve each other as well as in the community in which they live? You should and you can!
We have been praying. We have been planning. We have a group for you!
No matter what season you are in, there is always room for growth.
It has never been easier to get connected, so pray how you will get involved. It will change your life. We are preparing to begin the week of September 27.
Look for more info and updates coming soon at virtue.harvest.org as we look toward the launch of Harvest Small Groups in just over a month!