SPC COMMUNITY GROUPS: WHERE THE LOVE IS
Community Groups at SPC are where we are growing to be more like Jesus by committing ourselves to love one another and, from time to time, to share that love with neighbors. This love for one another and for neighbors is expressed in all sorts of creative and sacrificial ways in Community Groups. As we spend time together, care for, encourage, help, draw close to one another, share gifts and resources with each other, and pray for and serve our neighbors, we are living out the faith in Jesus that we profess together in worship on Sunday mornings.
SPC Community Groups meet at various times in homes and other venues all over town. Their meeting schedules and agendas are determined by the Community Groups themselves. Most groups meet a couple times a month. Others meet weekly or just once a month. Most groups are co-ed, but some are men-only or women-only. Although most are inter-generational, several groups for young adults have recently been established. All are led by SPC members and supported by SPC’s elders, pastors, and staff. From the perspective of these church leaders, participation in a Community Group is a top priority for everyone who worships at SPC.
A PRAYER FOR OUR COMMUNITY GROUPS
Loving God, we thank You for who You are … that in Your unity as One there are three persons of one substance, eternity and power. You are, beyond all else, a self-sufficing community: unspeakably magnificent; boundless in love, knowledge and power.
You have created us in Your image. We are made for and thrive in community with You and with each other. But our sin and rebellion against You broke that communion with You and others. Cut off from You, we are desolate, lost, and dead.
But Father, You have now restored us through Jesus’ incarnation, death and resurrection! You give us life, the fellowship of Your Holy Spirit, so that we may live our repentance and be transformed into Your likeness, in community. And eternally, we, through Jesus, will live in an all-inclusive community of loving persons with You Yourself as its Sustainer and most glorious Inhabitant. Our community draws its meaning from Yours.
Lord, we need constantly to remind ourselves of our great destiny in Your great love, yet … here we are in this broken world, members of Your body at Stony Point Church. You have led us to form Community Groups where we can love each other because You first loved us.
Would You please grant that each member of our Community Groups may be able to say from their heart “We loved You so much that we were delighted to share with You not only the gospel of God, but our lives as well, because You had become so dear to us.”? We thank You for what You have already done to this end. We pray for each group, that they would persevere in meeting regularly, learn to live Your love in this world, and do all such good works as You have prepared for them to walk in.
Give wisdom and good counsel, dear Spirit, to the leaders of our groups that they may seek the good and growth of their members. Would You please, Lord, make each group’s love increase and overflow for each other and everyone else?
We pray also for those at Stony Point Church who have not yet found a Community Croup. We ask You, Spirit, as only You can, invite and move these, so that they seek and join a Community Group, even form one if necessary.
We pray for Michael Bryant in his leadership of our Community Groups. Inspire him, strengthen him, give him good ideas, and joy to see you at work in Your people as he leads by Your grace.
So, gracious Three in One, One in Three: YOU ARE LOVE.
Father, it is not that we loved You, but You loved us and sent Jesus to reconcile us to You.
Jesus, You gave us access by faith into the grace in which we now stand, and hope that does not disappoint.
Dear Spirit, gift of the Father in Jesus, You pour the Father’s love into our hearts. May that love overflow to people, families and our city.
Holy God, make our gathered body and our Community Groups so full of Your love that all who see it will know we follow Jesus and learn love from Him.
We commend ourselves and our Community Groups to Your care. You are able to do immeasurably more that we ask or imagine, according to the power at work within us. Glory to You! … in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
This prayer was offered by Elder Hank Greaser in worship on December 18, 2016