Grow small with us.
Will Spink shares about what makes small groups at Southwood so helpful.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. … Day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people.” – Acts 2:42-47
Southwood has committed to being a fellowship of small groups, not simply a church with small groups. In these groups the experience and expression of grace come together as we share life together in community. Small groups are the best way to be truly connected at Southwood.What are Small Groups all about?
Small Groups are about three key RELATIONSHIPS:
Relationships with EACH OTHER (Where we connect as His people): This relationship is the doorway through which we enter the other two key relationships. God did not design us to live in isolation from each other but rather in community with each other. Whether we are sharing a meal together, praying for each other, watching a football game, or engaging in deeper conversation, we are connecting with each other and experiencing life together.
Small group should be a place where caring for each other happens naturally and where we’re missed when we aren’t there. As we get to know each other and the unique story each of us has, then our joys and sorrows, struggles and successes, become shared moments in our story together. The best small groups laugh together, cry together, and enjoy just being together.
Relationships with GOD (Where we consider His truth): As we get to know each other, we are able to help each other see how God’s truth intersects with our lives. There are many groups, clubs, and associations where we all have relationships; a small group is unique among these because our relationship with God is the common thread that binds us to one another.
Many of our groups discuss questions written to help us process that week’s sermon and its application in our lives. Sometimes groups will do a particular Bible study or read a book together to spark discussion. Other times groups just talk about life and how God’s Word applies to everyday challenges. Regardless of the format, as our relationships with each other grow deeper, we are better able to encourage each other to see God’s grace in every area of life.
Relationships with OUR NEIGHBORS (Where we show His care and compassion): The church is not all about us. And neither are our small groups! Being connected in small groups empowers us to move toward others who are also hurting and needy. We seek to challenge each other in our small groups to express the grace that we have experienced. Grace is not a consumer commodity.
The opportunities for investing in relationships with our neighbors are as numerous as our small groups. Neighborhood cookouts, church work days, small group service projects, prayer for missionaries, and many other venues help us think intentionally about sharing the grace we so desperately need with others who need it, too.What types of small groups are there, and how long do they last?
Mixed Gender: A majority of our small groups include both men and women, young and old, married and single. Throughout the week they meet in homes around the greater Huntsville area.
Gender Based: We also have some groups that are specifically for men or women. These also meet at various times and places. We do have several women’s groups that meet on the Southwood campus at 9:30am on Thursdays to share childcare and broader fellowship.
Want to get involved? Sign-up at this link, and we’ll connect you with one of our small groups: www.southwood.org/growingsmall