You may be asking, how is this different than what we have done in the past?
In the past we have offered classes that met on campus and were open to everyone that wanted to join, whenever they wanted to join. Our classes ranged from large classes of 80 people to smaller classes of 7 people. While these courses were great and offered us a chance to learn, it really didn’t give us a connection with one another and they were not a priority for the majority of the congregation. It got us to thinking that there had to be a better way.
We believe that way will be Growth Groups. In contrast to a “class”, the Growth Groups will be a basic unit of St. Timothy’s, much like an organic cell is the basic unit of a human body. Thus, Growth Groups are not going to be treated as "one program among many," but as a necessary part of STAC. Four key items will make up the DNA of a Growth Group: worship, edification, fellowship, and discipleship. We want to connect members of our parish family - new or old - to the “body of Christ.” Through this community we can have a more meaningful experience and be involved in something that is not only bigger than ourselves, but is enduring. The goal is to give everyone a chance to learn, laugh, and love while we continue to make Him known to others.
So how will this look?
Growth Groups are small groups made up of 15 to 20 people who want to grow spiritually and connect with others at STAC. In a Growth Group, you’ll have a chance to meet with new people or old friends, find encouragement, grow in your personal relationship with Jesus Christ and have fun together. You do not need to be a member of St. Timothy’s to join a growth group.
We will have three (3) Growth Group Semesters each year (think in terms of a typical school year).The semesters will be Spring, Summer and Fall. Groups will meet for up to 12 weeks (some groups will meet for shorter periods depending on the semester). A month before each semester begins we will have a sign-up period (GroupUp). During this time you will have a catalog with information about all of the groups that are available; so you can choose which topic, study, leader, location, etc. that works best for you. Once groups begin (GroupStart), you will study the scripture, learn what it means to love our neighbors and reach out to others who are not connected. Once a semester your group will plan one “play date” where you have a fun, social activity and one service project. At the end of each semester, we’ll take a month off and have another GroupUp period where you’ll have the option to join a new group. You can stay with the same leader or topic, or try something new.