A few years ago, Will and Lauren Thrasher were new to Mercy Hill and wanted to move into deeper involvement within the church. Below is their story of how joining a Community Group didn’t come without hesitation and uncertainty; however, looking back, they couldn’t image what their life would be like without being in community with other believers. We hope that their experience will encourage those of you who are currently on the fence about joining a group to take that leap of faith and give it a try.
Joining a Community Group
Will these people like us? Will we like them? Is this going to be completely awkward? Where will we find childcare? These were just a few of our silly, but totally real, fears as we signed up for a Community Group for the first time. We had recently moved our small family to Greensboro and had been attending Mercy Hill for a few months. While we loved Mercy Hill, we felt like we were on the outside looking in, and we desperately needed Christian community. We walked into Grouplink not really knowing what to expect and with all of our fears running through our heads. But above all those fears was the resounding truth that we needed community. We desperately prayed that this group would be the missing piece of the puzzle that we needed to get plugged into community and meet people in this new city. And you know what? That first night had its awkward moments. But we were committed to this group, and they were committed to us. So, we all continued to show up every week.
The Joys of Community
We are now two years into doing life alongside of this Community Group, and to say that they have become part of our family would be an understatement! We have laughed and cried together and grown closer to strangers more than we ever thought possible. Over the years, our group has celebrated the birth of children, promotions, new jobs, and others launching out to start additional Community Groups. But we have also cried together over grave loss and hard seasons. Through all of this, we have prayed and grown together as we have weekly studied God’s word. We have experienced God’s love tangibly through His people loving us and us loving others in return. We know Jesus more deeply because of his people! These past few years would have looked drastically different for our family had we not been in community. Our leaders generously invited us into their home, and we are closer to Jesus because of it.
Launching a New Community Group
Now we feel like it is our turn to provide an opportunity for community to others. We feel honored to be able to open up our home to people of all walks of life so that we may be able to do life alongside of one another, learn more of God’s word, and ultimately serve him and know him in a deeper way. Our family has had the opportunity to be a part of the Edgefield launch, and we are seeing God move in the Northwest area of Greensboro. Every Sunday, it is so exciting to see new people attend this campus, and we wonder if they will be some of the ones coming into our home for group. We know this is just the beginning and cannot wait to see how this area grows and is impacted for Jesus!
To sign up to be a part of Will and Lauren Thrasher’s new group—or any of the groups that we are launching at our upcoming Grouplink event on May 4th—please click here. Grouplink is a one night event held at all three campuses to give new members, existing members, and leaders the opportunity to meet one another for the first time. After Grouplink, the groups will meet at a host home as indicated on their group profile.
-Jonathan Spangler (Community Groups Director)