When Jesus said "by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35), he knew that his death and resurrection would eliminate animosity and open up fellowship in an unprecedented way. Because of this new relationship all boundaries that separate people are now removed in Christ, but that doesn't mean fellowship comes easy. Therefore we set aside time and money to spend time with one another. Through fellowship we remember that we are sharers in Christ together, that we join together to participate in Christ's mission and that one of the highest forms of fellowship is providing for one another's needs.
Together the Sunday and the Home Group gathering compose church
A home group is 4-10 Christians from across Calvary Seattle gathering regularly in a local home, apartment, or condominium examining scripture, exercising spiritual gifts, sharing needs, offering prayer and serving their community.
We gather in home groups to further study God’s word and apply it as a church; share what we have in common through transparency and beneficial encouragement; and serve our local neighborhood through corporate selfless acts.
Reasons we gather:
- Home group expands fellowship: Fellowship is the cornerstone of Christianity (1 Cor. 12:12). Sin brought separation from God, and separation from God led to separation from each other. But, restoration with God brings restoration with each other. Finding fellowship within a home group builds on this new relationship with God and proves to be vital to maturity.
- Home group helps us better understand God’s word: The Bible is authoritative because God possesses all authority and he uses the Bible as the witness and the vehicle of his authority (2 Tim. 3:16-17) Submitting to God’s authority and studying the Bible within a home group exponentially increases a person’s understanding of God. We have found that learning others perspectives of Scripture expand our view of God, help put our views into words, and openly deal with questions.
- Home group provides an actual network of support: A home group will open opportunities for many different types of support. Regular prayer seems to be the one that unites the group and regularly demonstrates God’s love in the group. We long for God. Our prayers connect our pain and the living God. To support one another in prayer and other ways is a great privilege.
- Home group carries out God’s mission in specific neighborhoods: The church is on mission because God is on mission. A home group supplies many opportunities to share and show this mission – God’s love for the world. A local home group feels the pulse of needs within the community and is able to nimbly and appropriately respond.
For a few weeks each Spring and Fall we offer classes to meet specific needs. These classes complement our main church gatherings that take place on Sundays and at Home Groups throughout the week. By addressing specific topics, bible books, or relevant issues, we hope to strengthen the Christian’s faith.
A discipleship group is a small three-to-four person group that gathers around reading God’s word, praying for ongoing spiritual needs, establishing healthy spiritual disciplines, and deepening bonds of community. They begin with a three-month weekly meeting where the group reads through the New Testament. From there they have developed into dealing with specific topics or diving into a deeper study of one particular Bible book.