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    Author: Christine Dyer

    Category: The Pulse - 2017.34 Issue 34

    Take a Chance on Growing New Relationships

    My husband Doug and I were interested in community groups because we wanted a continuation of the good feeling that comes from Sunday service to carry us through our workweek. We wanted to be more connected with church family. We wanted to be involved and to learn.

    Having a bible study on another day of the week and somewhere closer to where we live made it easier to attend. I wanted that great feeling that comes from knowing Christ and sharing it with others like me. I am learning so much from our discussions. I ask challenging questions, and I am accepted for my faith, my knowledge, and my yearning for more.

    Mike and Natalie Benevento, our group leaders, warmly accepted us, as well as the rest of our group. Each Monday night when we would read passages, even though I had read them before, God revealed new things to me, and others in this group. We all get so involved in the discussions about our reading that we all could go longer! The time really flies! I am so thankful for the fun and the relationships I have formed with these people. They are helping me to become a better follower of Christ. We study, we pray for each other and share our concerns, and we care deeply for each other. We have become our church “family.” 

    I must also emphasize that this is not like any other bible study group that I have attended in the past. Many others, while well meaning, were “read and answer posted questions.” In this group, our leaders study the word and come up with questions to make us think, ask us what we think is being said in passages, and it spurs long discussions. We are currently studying apologetics. We are so thankful for Pastor Scott’s endorsement and encouragement of Mike and Natalie’s approach to leading our group. We are growing in our community.

    And we have awesome food! We have themed dinner nights. We all bring a dish of a certain nationality, or we have soup night, or just hot dogs and hamburger cookouts! We have food, worship and praise at least 3 times in our season. We have some great cooks in our group too. We have also had video nights where we listen to other great sermons.

    If you are thinking about joining a community group, I encourage you to try; you never know where it will lead. Everyone feels the pull and struggle just to keep up with work home and life, yet when we make the effort to attend, we get so much out of our time together. Take a chance!