As Christians, we are called to grow in both our love for God and in our love for each other. At Grand Avenue, we have found involvement in gospel life groups to be one of the most effective ways to achieve this. Through Bible study, prayer, accountability and fellowship we encourage each other as disciples (followers) of Jesus Christ.
Gospel Life Group Vision: Discipleship through fellowship and hospitality.
Listen: “A Gospel-Centered Culture of Grace” — Michael Felkins (audio/handout)
Our vision for discipleship: The word disciple means to be a learner. When Jesus taught, He did not seek to simply impart information but instead to awaken a serious commitment to himself through the gospel. We desire a serious concern for gospel-growth among the members of our gospel life groups. This means we are learning how to apply the person and work of our Savior in our lives.
We want our gospel life groups to provide a predictable environment where participants experience spiritual growth and authentic community. We desire spiritual growth to enhance intimacy with God, to encourage Biblical life change, and to deepen our fellowship with one another. We desire biblical community that will provide a place for each of us to connect, to belong, to be shepherded and cared for, and for mutual accountability to be fostered.
What is the role of Gospel life groups at Grand?
The role of gospel life groups will play a very essential part of the process of our spiritual growth. We desire to be a community of faith in which we surrender our lives to Christ and to each other. Gospel life groups fill an important place in between the gathering of the full congregation in worship and the receiving of God’s Word, and those more intimate “one-on-one” relationships of discipleship.
Scripture calls us to not forget the assembling together for the purpose of encouraging one another. At these full congregational gatherings, we receive God’s Word, we participate in the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Table. We gather to “remember” and to draw our attention upward in praise and honor of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In gospel life groups, we draw our attention horizontally to live out what it means to be called by, and identified with, Christ. We can only do this in the context of living “life-on-life.” We say to one another, “My life no longer belongs to just me. I give you the right to call me on things.” This is what it means to live within the community of the redeemed and to live life in light of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
What our Gospel Life Groups are not.
They are not “support” groups or “counseling” groups. Rather, they are used to cultivate spiritual fellowship where disciples grow together.
They are not “in-depth Bible studies” nor are they “in-depth doctrinal studies.” A gospel life group may at times discuss some deeper biblical questions or discuss doctrinal questions as they arise out of natural spiritual conversation but the purpose of our gospel life groups is not to primarily address those topics or issues as teaching goals. If this is what you seek, then a Foundations study, men’s or women’s small group, one-to-one discipleship, or leadership training is where these topics are taught.
What our Gospel Life Groups are.
Our gospel life groups are fellowships informed by Scripture and pursued through prayer, study and interpersonal reflection on God’s word and seeking to show hospitality to the stranger. Gospel life groups are where we strive to build relationships and learn how to apply the gospel to everyday life, to preach the gospel to one another, and pray for one another. We call this learning how to live life in light of the gospel.
Therefore, we desire the DNA of our gospel life groups to be filled with: Gospel-Community, Gospel-Conversations, and Gospel-Service. We strive for a culture of grace so that Gospel-Community that is filled with Gospel-Conversations around our sermons or a special Bible study. We believe that Gospel Life Groups that are filled with Gospel-Community and Gospel-Conversations will overflow with Gospel-Service for one another in our church, the city of Ames and the surrounding area.
A note on childcare — Each group provides childcare in different ways. Please speak with a small group leader about options. Our Kids Cash ministry is available to assist with the cost of childcare during Gospel Life Group meetings.
How Can I Join a Gospel Life Group?
There are a few ways to get plugged into a gospel life group at Grand:
- The best way is to get started is to attend a gospel life group with a friend at GABC.
- Sign-up through our on-line form below
- Contact our Pastor Michael Felkins