In Acts 20:20 the Apostle Paul said, “I have taught you publicly and from house to house.” That’s how it was for the early church and that’s how it is now. We gather in a large group on Sundays for worship and teaching, and we gather throughout the week in growth groups to continue to grow together in a smaller environment. Growth groups is where we really connect and live out the Christian life, supporting and encouraging each other.
Some frequently asked questions
Just in case you were wondering and hadn’t gotten around to asking for yourself…
What is a Growth Group?
A Growth Group is a home fellowship made up of 10-16 people who meet weekly to share, study and support one another. A trained leader and host lead each group. An average meeting lasts for an hour and a half, followed by light refreshments. top
How Important Are Growth Groups?
Here at Oak Tree Community Church, Growth Groups are the hub of our ministry. They’re the place where the real ministry of the church takes place as we study God’s Word, while supporting and sharing our lives with one another. We believe that meeting together on a regular basis is time well spent. Our goal each year is to have at least 75% of our adults involved on a weekly basis. top
When and Where Do They Meet?
Growth Groups meet on various nights of the week in homes throughout Elk Grove and beyond. Most evening groups meet 7-9 pm. The daytime groups meeting times vary. top
How Long Do They Last?
Each Growth Group session lasts 9 to 11 weeks. We have Fall, Winter & Spring sessions. At the end of each session, you will have the choice of staying in the same group, trying a new group or even taking a break. Most groups stay together throughout the entire year. Growth Groups do not meet mid-June through August. top
What is the Required Commitment?
Joining a Growth Group requires a 9 to 11 week commitment to attend weekly meetings and do the homework ahead of time. Obviously, allowances are made for sickness, vacation, work conflicts and other special events, but not much more. This commitment is the key to a strong Growth Group. You have the first three weeks to attend the group to make sure it’s a good fit for you. top
What Will We Study?
Most of the studies are based on the previous weekend’s message. These “sermon-based” Growth Groups are built on what we call a “Lecture-Lab” model. Imagine the weekend message as a lecture on Christian living, and the Growth Group as a lab where you get to roll up your sleeves and discuss how the weekend’s message works in real life. Each week there will be a series of Bible passages and questions on the back of the sermon note sheet to study before the meeting . It will usually take 20 to 40 minutes per week to complete the homework. top
What Does It Cost?
Few things in life are free and Growth Groups are no exception! The cost of Growth Groups is the cost of commitment. During the first meeting, each group will complete a “covenant” together. This simple form helps each group discuss their priorities and commitment. Part of that commitment is the promise to attend each week and to complete the homework as well as to attend the quarterly social and do one service project for the year. You have the first three weeks to decide if your group is a good fit for you.
When you join a Growth Group, you’re promising to attend and be prepared each week. It’s this commitment that makes Growth Groups work. We realize it’s a big commitment, but it only lasts for 9 – 11 weeks. At the end of each quarter, you have the choice of recommitting for another quarter, trying a new group, or taking a break from Growth Groups altogether. top
What About Child Care?
Growth Groups are for adults only. (Exceptions can be made for nursing newborns, up to six months.) We leave it up to each family to work out their own child care. Sometimes it works best for families to share a sitter or to swap child care with another family whose Growth Group meets on a different evening. We have child care available at the Growth Group at church on Sunday Mornings (9:30 – 11 AM). top
How Do I Choose A Group?
When selecting a group, we strongly recommend you choose a group based on its leader-host team and station-in-life, rather than its location. Over the years, we’ve found that groups do best when members share a common station-in-life and other interests with their leaders, hosts, and other group members. In the end, you’ll find it’s worth the drive!
Our groups are divided in the following Station-in-Life groupings: Singles, Young Marrieds, Young Families, Parents of Children K-6, Parents of Teens, Empty Nesters, Senior Adults, 20-Something, 30-Something, College, Inter-generational groups (General), etc. Remember, these station-in-life groupings are intentionally kept fuzzy and are meant to help you self-select an appropriate group for you. They are not intended to box you in.
If you have any questions (especially if you are new to Oak Tree), please don’t hesitate to call the church, and we will gladly assist you. Keep in mind that it might take two or three groups before you find the perfect fit, but don’t worry, you’ll find it! top