It is amazing to consider that Christ desires that his people experience the same degree of unity that he and the Father experience: oneness (John 17:11). And while there is an individual element to our experience of Christ, the gospel does not give us the option to merely relate individually to God. Much in our culture works to encourage an individualistic mindset towards life and others. But community provides the context for the gospel to impact our lives because God relates to us as "His people." When sinful people purpose to care for one another in community, growth happens. People become more like Christ. This process is often unpredictable and at times uncomfortable or "messy," but pleasing to the Father who delights to see his children become more like his Son.
Growth Groups are smaller groups of people who meet regularly, usually bi-weekly on Sundays, at various locations in Frederick County and neighboring areas with the primary purpose of experiencing Christ in the midst of his people. Please contact the church office or one of New Hope's elders for more information.
New Hope's Growth Group Purpose Statement:
A core component of the church's purpose is to care for and encourage the congregation towards greater Christ-likeness. God is a relational being, having existed from all eternity in perfect unity with the Son and Spirit. He calls us to relationship with himself through faith in his son, Jesus Christ. He also calls us, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, to a relational life in the midst of the church, his body and Christ's bride.
With this in mind, New Hope encourages Growth Groups as a means of developing care within the body and extending care to members of the flock. The purpose of Growth Groups, then, is to develop and nurture authentic, Christ-centered fellowship that deepens members' love for God, his people, and the world.
Healthy Growth Groups typically:
1) Apply the Word of God through study, worship, discussion, reflection, prayer, or other means that encourage application of biblical truth to lives with the goal of becoming more like Christ.
2) Care for each other in such a way that people are helped, encouraged, refreshed, heard, edified, and mutually "one-anothered." Relationships deepen and people joining or entering New Hope's community are welcomed and more vitally integrated into the body through Growth Groups.
3) Help individuals discover and exercise their spiritual gifts so that the group, the church, and the world are impacted.
4) Strive to reach out to the community and the world.