Growth Group FAQs
Growth Groups are small groups made up of 10-12 people who meet weekly to share, study, support one another and the community. A trained leader and host lead each group. An average meeting lasts for 45 mins.
As a ministry we believe that spiritual growth is a result of two basic commitments that one will make.
- A commitment to God and the Bible.
- A commitment to significant spirit-filled Christian relationships.
To help develop these significant spirit-filled Christian relationships, we have created “Growth Groups.” It is our goal to have every member of our church involved in a Growth Group. While most groups are sermon-based, some are special interest groups focusing on topics such as parenting, marriage, etc.
Yearly session lasts 9 to 10 weeks. We have fall, Winter & Spring sessions. At the end of each session, you will have the choice of staying in the same group, or try a new group. Growth groups stay together throughout the entire year but are not required to meet from June through August. You can see the Groups calendar for detailed information.
Joining a growth group requires a 9 to 10 week commitment to attend weekly meetings and do the homework ahead of time. Obviously, allowances are made for sickness, vacation, work conflicts and other special events, but not much more. This commitment is the key to strong growth. You have the three first three weeks to attend the group to make sure it’s a good fit for you.
Most of the studies are based on the previous weekend’s message. These “sermon-based” small groups are built on what we call a “Lecture-Lab” model. Imagine the weekend message as a lecture on Christian living, and the growth group as a lab where you get to roll up your sleeves and discuss how the weekend’s message works in real life. Each week there will be a series of Bible passages and questions on the back of the sermon note sheet to study before the meeting. It will usually take 10 to 15 minutes per week to complete the homework.
Few things in life are free and growth groups are no exception! The only cost is the cost of commitment. During the first meeting, each group will complete a “covenant” together. This simple form helps each group discuss their priorities and commitment. Part of that commitment is the promise to attend each week and to complete the homework as well as to attend the quarterly social and do one service project for the year. You have the first three weeks to decide if your group is a good fit for you. When you join a growth group, you’re promising to attend and be prepared each week. It’s this commitment that makes your growth group work. We realize it’s a big commitment, but it only lasts for 9 – 10 weeks. At the end of each quarter, you have the choice of recommitting for another quarter, trying a new group.
Growth groups are for adults only. (Exceptions can be made for nursing newborns, up to six months.) We leave it up to each family to work out their own childcare. Sometimes it will work best for families to share a sitter or to swap child-care with another family whose group meets on a different evening. Or families in the same group can volunteer one person each week to be in charge of the children.
When selecting a group, we strongly recommend you choose a group based on its leader-host team and station-in-life, rather than its location. Over the years, it is been found that people do flow together when they share common station-in-life and other interests with their leaders, hosts, and other group members. In the end, you’ll find it’s worth the drive! If you have any questions (especially if you are new to Covenant Family Chapel), please don’t hesitate to call the church @ 301 696 8555, and we will gladly assist you. Keep in mind that it might take two or three groups before you find the perfect fit, but don’t worry, you’ll find it!.
Growth Groups would meet on various days and nights of the week in homes throughout the community. Some groups may choose to meet at the church even though they are called “Home Fellowships!” For example “Special Interest” and “Recovery” groups.
We offer sign-ups for Growth groups during the weekend services and online before each group quarters begin. There are Growth Group Staff members available at RESOURCE CENTER at the FOYER of the church to help you choose a group and answer any questions. During our sign-up weekends we have “Quick Guide” inside the weekend bulletin. There are three sign-up weekends before the beginning of our Fall Quarter in September, and two sign-up weekends before our Winter Quarter in January and our Spring Quarter in April. We will also offer “Intro to growth Groups” in August and November. These groups are designed for people new to our church who would like to find out how our groups work and what they are all about, or anyone who has not been in a group before and wants to try one out. Also, you can call our church line for information: 301 696 8555.
Yes, our high school and junior high ministries offer small groups for students 7th and 8th grade students. For more information about junior high or high school groups, please call us at 301 696 8555.
Special Interest groups will use a different curriculum for their studies (their focus can include everything from marriage enrichment materials to Bible study methods, parenting issues or financial freedom etc). Other Special Interest groups are bound together by a common station in life such as singles, newly marrieds, parents of teens, seniors, college students etc.
Recovery groups provide a safe place for emotional and spiritual healing. These groups deal with tough issues, old hurts, broken relationships and destructive patterns within an atmosphere of honesty, acceptance, openness and encouragement. There will be some Recovery Groups sessions that the content and issues being dealt with are led by professional counselors and are more therapeutic in nature. They will include topics like Overcoming Sexual Temptation, Marriage Renovation, Setting Boundaries, Healing Wounds of Sexual Abuse, and Changes That Heal.