One of my roles as a pastor at Mercy Hill Church is to be heavily involved in the vision, mission, and health of Mercy Hill Community Groups. It has been an awesome ride thus far! In the six months since we have planted Mercy Hill Church we have multiplied from 3 Community Groups, to 5 groups, and now in February that number will increase to 8 groups. Launching new groups provide opportunities for leadership, community, discipleship, and for Mercy Hill Church to be where people live. Since we will be launching 3 new groups in February, and will be talking a lot about these groups over the next couple of weeks, I thought it would be a good time to devote a blog to the vision behind Mercy Hill Community Groups. Our vision for these groups can be summed up by 2 Mercy Hill plumb lines.
1) Discipleship happens in community – As Christians we understand the idea that the church needs us right? The church needs us to serve, be generous with our money, among a host of other things. But how often do we recognize that we need the church? At Mercy Hill we have come to realize that a person can only truly be a follower of Jesus in community with other followers of Jesus. We need each other to fully live out the Christian faith. 1 Corinthians 12:26 says, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” The best way that we have found to create this type of community described in 1 Corinthians is through weekly, intentional fellowship, which is centered on Jesus.
2) We are not a church that does Community Groups, but a church OF Community Groups – We place such a high value on Community Groups at Mercy Hill we do not see them as an “add on” to what we do as a church; Community Groups are Mercy Hill Church. Besides the Sunday gathering where we hear the preaching of the Word, Community Groups are the heartbeat of Mercy Hill Church. Community Groups are where people will find fellowship at Mercy Hill, learn to apply the Bible to their lives, be equipped and encouraged for ministry, find opportunities for leadership, as well as be on mission to Greensboro and the Triad. Ultimately, each Community Group is like a “mini” Mercy Hill Church doing ministry in their part of town.
Because of our vision for Community Groups it is so exciting to see new groups planted! With the next 3 groups we plant the ministry and mission of Mercy Hill will be extending beyond Greensboro into High Point and Elon. Because we are planting groups in these areas we are trusting God that people will be saved, people will be discipled, marriages will be restored, and people will begin to live out their faith in ways that they never have before!
– Bobby, Executive Pastor