life groups

Life Groups are exciting groups of adults that meet weekly or bi-weekly for personal spiritual development and authentic Christian community. The groups number no more than 12, so its a great place to make meaningful Christian friends to grow with. These groups are open to new members at any point and give each member the opportunity to share, in a small way, the leadership and direction of the group. The Bible becomes more practical in this relational setting and discovering the 'Jesus life' together is the goal.
- connect with other Christ-seekers and Christ-followers at epic.
- develop a more intimate relationship with God.
- deepen your understanding and application of the Bible.
- reach friends and family who aren't connected.
You can expect lots of social time to make and develop meaningful friendships. There is usually food involved (just snacks or full meals, depending on the group). You can expect to read from the Bible with other group members, discussing the meaning of what you have just read. There will usually be an opportunity to share a need with the group and have others pray for you. (There is never any pressure to share what you would prefer to keep personal.) Groups often praise God for things that He has done recently. Groups also plan for community service together and sometimes plan special social events for the group.
You can expect to be accepted just the way you are at a life group. And you can be confident that your friends who may be ready to explore Christ and Christian faith will be accepted too.
Life Groups are designed to provide a secure community for Christian growth. The only commitment required is a commitment to remain in the process of growing faith.
Because we believe that community is the best way to grow in your faith, you are free to try out any of our groups (as many as you would like) in your effort to find this community. We believe that you will soon find a group of friends that you will want to commit to for the long haul.
You may have already discovered that consistency is a powerful tool.  Once you have found a group of friends you want to know deeply and grow with, we encourage you to participate in life group gatherings regularly.
- join a starting point group!  This is the most common and easiest way to integrate into a life group.
- sign up at an epic worship gathering and a group facilitator will call you.
- explore the groups available by clicking the life group directory
   and e-mail or call a group facilitator for more information.
- e-mail or call Bruce to find out more and/or get some help getting started.
1. You will begin to make authentic Christian friends.
Most people who have been a part of a group say the greatest benefit is the close relationships and friendships that develop: people to laugh with, learn with, grow with, cry with, pray with... live with.  
Over fifty times in the New Testament the phrase "one another" is used to describe our relationship to other believers. We are instructed to love one another, encourage one another, pray for one another, accept one another, bear one another´s burdens, and build up one another. The only way you can obey these commands is in a small group! We really do need each other. God never meant for you to go it alone in the Christian life. If you´re lonely, the answer to your problem is to join a group.
2. You will understand the Bible better.
If you´ve ever listened to a Bible teacher or preacher and wanted to stop that person and say, "But what about...?" or "I don´t understand," then a small group is for you! Preaching and teaching is one way communication. You listen while the speaker speaks. It´s fine for imparting knowledge but not as effective for personal application as a small group. In a small group setting, you can ask questions, participate in a discussion of the text, and hear others share insights and illustrations of the truth you are trying to grasp. The Bible is designed to be applied to your own personal situations and that happens best in small groups.

3. Prayer will become more meaningful to you.
Many people are hesitant to pray in front of others, especially in a large church. In a small group of 6 to 12, you will learn to participate in prayer by having a conversation together with God. No one is pressured to pray, but as you become comfortable, you´ll be able to pray sentence prayers and join in. There are many promises in the Bible related to group prayer. In praying together with a few others, we are drawn together and we find answers to the needs in our lives.

4. You will be able to handle stress and pressure better.
Small groups provide excellent support in times of crisis, change, and stress. You´ll have a sense of stability and security knowing there are people who really care for you and are committed to walking through these seasons with you.

When someone loses a job, or a family member has an extended illness, or a mother needs a babysitter - these are practical needs that will be naturally taken care of through your small group. Your group will coordinate the sharing of hot meals to be brought in when your family is in need. Many people in our church could testify that they would not have made it through a difficult time if it hadn´t been for the support of their group.

5. You will have a natural way to share Christ with friends, relatives, and work associates.
It may be that some of your unbelieving friends wouldn´t be caught dead in a church. They have a preconceived idea and just the thought makes them defensive. But those same people may be open to an invitation to a casual Bible discussion in a home or office setting. In a small group, your unbelieving friend can ask questions and express honest doubts without feeling "put on the spot". When your friend sees the love and warmth and honesty of your group, it will make him more receptive to Christ.

6. You will develop leadership skills you never knew you had!
The Bible teaches that every believer is given certain talents or "gifts" to benefit others in the family of God. Unfortunately most Christians remain as Sunday morning spectators all their lives because large group meetings are primarily "sit and listen" situations. As you share and participate in a relaxed small group setting, you´ll discover your confidence rising. This will help you at work, at church, and in every other relationship.

7. You will deepen your understanding of worship.
Many believers mistakenly believe that worship can only happen on Sunday morning in a large group with a sermon, a choir, and an offering plate! Worship happens anytime we focus on God.  Sometimes in a smaller group in praying or singing together.  Worship in this intimate setting helps us translate worship into its most significant expression - our everyday living.

8. You will be a New Testament Christian!
The book of Acts is very clear about how God intends for His people to grow and have their needs met in the church. We will never be able to hire enough professional pastors to meet all the individual needs in our family. God never intended for it to be that way!

Consider these verses:

"They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Every day they continued to meet together... they broke bread in their homes and ate together... and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:42, 44, 46-47

"Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the Good News that Jesus is the Christ." Acts 5:42

"Greet also the church that meets at their house." Rom. 16:5

"Aquilla and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord and so does the church that meets at their house."
I Cor. 16: 19

"Give my Nympha and the church in her house." Col. 4: 15

We are excited about the incredible potential of the network of small groups that make up epic and we hope you will join us.