In January, I preached about spreading God’s glory from our neighbors to the nations. It is my conviction that Christ called us to be witnesses from our hometown to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:6-8). In fact, the entire layout of Acts is how the Spirit led His people to fulfill His mission. So, too, must we be led by the Spirit of God to seek out ways to strengthen God’s people and share God’s gospel through Jesus.
That’s why God has impressed on me and a number of others that we should start some small groups that meet outside of our church building called R.E.A.C.H. This stands for:
—given this not only a name, but in what we should be engaged: reaching our people and our neighbors with the Gospel.
Why do this? Consider:
- The majority of our members only come to one service per week, either due to driving distance, work, health reasons, or just lost the habit of attending (Hebrews 10:25);.
- The majority of those who live in our neighborhoods come to zero services, thus are not being fed the Gospel nor are they fellowshipping with those who are under the Gospel of Christ.
R.E.A.C.H. groups with bring the presence of God’s people at Boone’s Creek to the various locations where our people are located—as well as to those who are unbelievers, thus offering them an entry point in developing relationships with God’s people. What will these REACH groups set out to accomplish? Four things:
- Strengthen our sanctification (2 Peter 3:18);
- Foster fellowship (Acts 2:42-44);
- Cultivate care and concern among the members (Hebrews 12:5-8; Galatians 6:1-2);
- Generate an exercising of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:27-13:8)
Three have already expressed interest in leading a REACH group: Alex Marshall, Jr. (Lexington), Cam Potts (Richmond) and Mike Hamilton (Winchester). Doug and Mindy Yates are working on leading a REACH group here at church on Wednesday nights to reach our parents/grandparents who drop off their children to TeamKID. We will also have a REACH group that will meet on Tuesday at 10:00 A.M. here in the Athens area.
We will make use of three resources to train these leaders. The first (and primary) is the Scriptures, along with “Why Small Groups?“, edited by C.J. Mahaney. The other will be “Sticky Church” by Nelson Searcy.
The REACH groups will kick this off on Tuesday, March 24. Why March 24? It marks 40 days prior to our revival services beginning on May 3 and going through May 5. You will have a prayer guide to work from, as well as discussion questions based upon the Sunday morning sermon (I do this to keep from adding one more “thing,” and to help streamline our teaching ministries here).
We will have sign-up sheets in the vestibule (that’s church language for ‘foyer outside the sanctuary’). Alex lives in the Hartland area in Lexington and Mike Hamilton lives in Winchester. If anyone else is interested in leading one, please let me know so we can begin training ASAP. Otherwise, sign up for a REACH group and watch God move among that fellowship.
Again, there will be sign-up sheets in the foyer. Please sign up for one of these, or volunteer to lead a group.
May God help us spread His glory from our neighbors to the nations,