Ministry at River City Church is intentionally simple, hoping to make it easy for deep and meaningful friendships to form and flourish. This is where togehter we are able to help one another grow in Christlikeness while we take part in God's work in our city.
Though we hope to maintain simplicity, this form of ministry may be new to you. These frequently asked questions may make it easier for you to understand how to best get connected and to contribute to the discipleship taking place in these groups. If you have any questions that are not answered here, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do you consider these groups to be necessary and important?
Being made for deep and meaningful relationships with God and others, spending intentional time together on a regular basis is crucial for our joy in Christ. Scripture tells us that encouraging relationships are central to our present lives as we await Jesus' return. In the here-and-now, we need one another for help and encouragement. Neglecting these relationships exposes us to the separating, isolating, and disintegrating power of sin whereas commited participation in Missional Community helps us to walk in newness of life.
How should I choose which group to attend?
First, consider existing relationships you may have with people in established groups. If you know people who are helpful and encouraging, go to their group. Next, consider the mission of each group. Descriptions of each group's mission can be found here. If a group serves in an area of our community in which you have experience or passion, visit this group. Next, consider where each group meets. Choosing one closer to your home makes it easier to attend regularly while inviting friends and neighbors. Lastly, consider when the group meets and your personal schedule. You may need to reorient your life around the mission and rhythms of a group, and we highly recommend taking time to seriously think through where you will attend and why. You may speak with our group leaders at the Connection Desk on Sunday mornings for help determining which group to attend.
We recommend going to a group for at least 4 weeks before deciding whether or not you belong there. Follow the link above to contact the group leader, letting them know you will be visiting.
How do new groups start?
New Missional Communities are launched as members of the church are equipped to celebrate Christ in our community as leaders. These new leaders identify members from their existing group to go with them as they start a new outpost of the gospel. They determine a group outreach focus, and determine a date to leave their existing group and start their new Missional Community.
What are the roles and responsibilities of a group leader?
The role of the group leader is to partner with the elder team in the care of our body. They are responsible for fostering an environment where the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ are celebrated. This happens as our leaders care for the people in their groups in the midst of suffering and hardship, as they facilitate group discussion, and lead their group in the mission of God.
How often do these groups meet?
Weekly, with groups meeting on Sunday nights through Wednesday nights. Their rhythms for serving our community varies, so we encourage visitors to call before attending. Each group is free to determine their rhythms for meeting, ensuring that people in the group are cared for and that they are able to fruitfully participate in God's mission.
What does a typical night look like?
When meeting together as a group, a typical night takes between 2 and 2.5 hours. The first hour is when the group shares a meal provided by members of the Missional Community. Time around a meal gives great opportunity to establish relationships. The second hour entails sermon-based discussion where the passage preached on Sunday is discussed and applied. Prayer is done before and after discussion, either in the large group or in smaller groups of men and women. Children are invited to take part depending upon parent's preferences, otherwise they are cared for by group members.
Why do these groups discuss the passage preached on Sunday mornings?
The hope in discussing the passage preached on Sunday mornings is to take what we hear, and apply it to our lives. The sermons preached are the authoritative teaching of the church, done by those qualified to proclaim the gospel in the midst of the gathered body. Taking this teaching, and studying of the passage, creates an environment where the pure gospel is celebrated and allowed to transform us from one degree of glory to another. Also, rather than doing a topical study, it allows for new group members to be easily integrated into the study and actively particpate.
What are the demographics of your Missional Communities?
These groups are inter-generational groups, made up of infants to grandparents. We value the opportunity for experience to be shared in the hopes of encouraging one another in Christlike growth, as well as the opportunity for younger believers to have a safe place to exercise their gifts and grow in their discipleship skills. Other opportunities for affinity-based ministry such as our Women's Workshops, Men's Nights, church picnics, and the like provide other opportunity for connection.
What should I bring?
A Bible and a notebook. Beyond that, bringing a meal is voluntary and each group has a process for managing who is bringing the food.
Are my kids welcome to join us?
Yes! We love that our children are exposed to parents gathering to celebrate Christ. We know that with our kids, more is caught that taught and appreciate the opportunity for more people to know and pray for them. It is at the parent's discretion whether or not they participate in group discussion, but it is encouraged if they are willing. Otherwise each group has a process for childcare, allowing the parents to engage in discussion with the rest of the group.
How do these groups care for our community?
Each of our groups has an outreach focus where we hope to extend the rule and reign of Christ through gospel proclamation. We hope to go to those who would not feel comfortable in a church building, but through meaningful connections with people from River City Church would go to a Missional Community. Practically, this looks different for each of our groups. Many serve the marginalized in the area, whereas others have a more geographical outreach focus.
Can I come if I'm unsure about Jesus and the gospel?
Yes! These are environments where we celebrate Christ and what he has done. That may make you uncomfortable, but the reality is that the gospel is both Good News and offensive. It is offensive because it tells us we are in dire need of help. It is Good News as it points us to Jesus and his perfect life, his sacrificial death, and his death-defying resurrection. We have hope in him and in him alone, and we love helping others to see him and to trust him.