Our mission is the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). We are here to make disciples. It’s what we do. But what does it mean to make a disciple? It’s not simply filling my head with more facts. It’s not just being connected to a congregation. And it’s not making sure I change my behaviors so I act more like I’m supposed to. So why do so many discipleship ministries make it seem like that’s the goal? Discipleship is about real, lasting transformation that results in increased obedience for the glory to God.
Small groups should be uncommon communities applying God’s Word to every day life. That’s the target.
Nearly thirty years ago, Harvest Bible Chapel was planted with discipleship through small groups as a major focus. That’s thirty years of trial and error with some of the top pastors, leaders, and counselors in the country constantly molding the model into something even more effective. Vertical Small Groups has grown out of that experience. The formal training we provide through the Uncommon Leadership series is some of the best in the world, founded in the word of God and presented in a way that works. We’re not training facilitators or Bible study teachers. We’re equipping leaders. We’re making disciples.
This is the foundation for all we do.
We’re reclaiming the word fellowship. Because it’s not red punch and cookies in the church basement. Real fellowship is a powerful experience, based on active participation in a common interest and a commitment to living for one another. Fellowship is the heart of uncommon community, the very same force that was critical in holding the early church together, as “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship…” (Acts 2:42).
Some of the deepest joys in life flow from biblical fellowship, yet too many of us are settling for less or just plain missing out. Your small group is a natural place to cultivate uncommon community—the perfect environment to pursue and persevere in deep relationships based on following Christ.
Through this study we hope you will find a renewed passion for loving, serving, encouraging, forgiving, and other actions involved in belonging to one another and the body of Christ. It is our prayer that will only be the beginning, as we start experiencing community in its richest and most uncommon form.