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While "small groups" has become a bit of a buzzword in Christian communities, they have been a vital part for many churches who seek to foster discipleship and nurture spiritual growth.
Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center, offers these four reasons why small groups are vital to a church's health ...
First, personal discovery happens in small groups better than large groups for a number of reasons. You can learn, ask questions, involve yourself in the lives of others, and generally make yourself vulnerable among other people who are doing the same in small groups.
You just can’t do that in sermons. There is no conversation, no feedback, and no questions. There’s no room to challenge the preacher or even question any part of what’s being taught. Spiritual growth happens better with others, in community, with open lines of communication and freedom to speak into one another’s lives.
Second and closely related to the first, smaller communities act more like, well, communities. That may seem like a given, but the bigger the group is, the less like community it feels. The kind of community I am advocating requires a level of intimacy easily lost as numbers grow.
You simply cannot know everyone beyond a certain point, and you certainly will not open up about your struggles and sins in a large group of people you don’t know.
With that in mind, the third factor is that small groups deliver deeper friendships that double as accountability. When people know you, really know you, your life becomes far more transparent, including your sin.
Others learn to read you and will call you out for those sins, creating opportunities to deal with real life difficulties as they surface. This is part of what we should expect from good friends.
Finally, small groups deliver maximum participation. There are opportunities to discuss the issues with others in the church. Church life issues can be discussed openly among trusted friends.
Mission can be planned out and participated in together. Lives are sharpened and leaders developed. Small groups are an absolute necessity for involving as many people as possible in the life and ministry of your church.
Epworth will host a small group expo and ministry fair on Saturday, October 5 beginning at 9:30am in the Widenhouse building.
Details are still forthcoming but we hope you'll plan to stop by and take time to learn about the small groups being offered and ask lots of questions.
For more info contact Pastor Sonny at
Jacob's Well, Epworth's contemporary service, was inspired by Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well.
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.” - John 4:13-14
Jacob's Well meets Sundays at 9am in the sanctuary. Our style of worship is interactive and we love when folks get involved with reading scripture, sharing ideas and using their talents.
Join us at 11am on Sundays for our traditional worship service. Lisa Ewers, choir director and Matthew Davis, organist/accompanist, season this worship service with powerful arrangements of familiar hymns as well as classical music performed by our chancel choir. Our adult handbell choir, under the direction of Carolyn Isenhour, performs during worship on a regular basis.
Our children's music ministry shares in worship frequently through song, handchimes & handbells and dance.
Communion is received the first Sunday of the month at the 11am worship service.
Children are a big deal at Epworth and we have a special worship service just for them. Beginning approximately 15-20 minutes into each worship service, children are invited to gather in the educational wing for stories, activities and crafts that complement the week's scripture and message.
CHILDCARE IS AVAILABLE DURING WORSHIP & SUNDAY SCHOOL
The Flock Preschool is a Christian pre-school supported by Epworth UMC. Our preschool provides a safe learning environment for children 1 - 4 years old. We also offer a transitional kindergarten (TK) program for children who are not quite ready for kindergarten.
Contact Teresa Gray
Epworth has been serving hot dogs in our community since 1946 and we are still going strong. Come see us on Thursdays (August - June) between 9:30am-2pm. We also offer FREE delivery!
FOR DELIVERY CALL:
SOS (Serving on Saturday) helps out our neighbors who need a hand. We do things like odd jobs, yard work, and a little minor construction. SOS is fueled by Epworth's youth ministry but there is an open invitation to ANYONE who would like to serve. SOS meets the second Saturday of the month at 10am (Sept - April) weather permitting. We are happy to take requests for help if you have a home project.
Contact Jen Hedrick
Epworth's Fellowship Group meets the first Saturday of the month for dinner at a local restaurant. It's a perfect opportunity for all ages to come together and share a meal. We'd love to have you join us and invite a guest. Dinner is usually around 6pm; reservations are made in advance so we'll always have a seat for you!