Launch Week: Connect Groups begin
For Triad Baptist’s new Connect Groups small ministry, launch week finally arrived.
A total of 21 groups of members met in homes every day this week but Friday and Saturday — with 18 new groups joining the three existing Life Groups merged into Connect Groups from Triad’s initial 2011 entree into small group ministry.
Jared Hoots who added Connect Groups pastor earlier this year to his Radiate High School Ministry leader responsibilities, says the focus of the new Connect Groups is discipleship through personal relationships. Hoots and his wife, Kimberly, lead a group for young families hosted by Josh and Marsha Thompson.
The core of each Connect Group session is discussion and review of life-application questions created from Lead Pastor Rob Decker’s previous message. But the format also features refreshments and prayer time, and a social and service project each group will complete together during the 10-week session.
The first Connect Groups session ends Nov. 12.
“Overall, I feel like the launch has been smooth so far,” Hoots said. “It seems like our leaders and hosts felt pretty prepared to lead these groups and are excited to do so. Now that we have these groups off the ground, I think it’s important to continually keep our eyes on the goal of making disciples of Jesus.
“Ultimately, these groups can be organized well and people can connect well socially through them, but without Holy Spirit’s work, nothing of eternal significance will be accomplished. As Jesus said in John 15:5, ‘Apart from Me, you can do nothing.’ ”
Hoots says Connect Groups are designed to address a common problem of large and fast-growing churches: their difficulty helping people plug in, navigate their large scale and feel like they have a personal place to serve and grow in Christian maturity.
Triad’s Connect Groups are oriented around common seasons of life such as empty nesters, singles, parents of teens, senior adults, and other characteristics group members share. After the inaugural 10-week session, Connect Group members will rate their groups and leaders and have the option to sign up again for the same group, try another group, or not participate in the next session.
Hoots says the ministry is designed for groups to have 14 members as the ideal environment for small-group ministry success.
Two Connect Groups meet on Sunday, one on Monday, three on Tuesday, nine on Wednesday, and six on Thursday. The largest number of Connect Groups in the first session have school-age children but the current selection does also include a Singles Connect Group led by Jeremy Chandler, Triad’s creative communications director.
“We had a really great evening, and everyone seemed to connect and mingle well,” Chandler said of his group’s first meeting. “Discussion was good and natural. The guys had a good prayer time, and it sounds like the girls did too.”
Triad members Steve and Dina Coley echoed those comments. They host a group in their home for parents of teenagers led by members Mitch and Marsha White.
“Our meeting went very well and Mitch and Marsha did an excellent job facilitating the discussions,” Steve said. “There was a lot of engagement from all attendees and everyone seems to be really excited about it. I’m encouraged that some strong bonds and lasting friendships will be developed over time as we continue to share as a group.”
Visit the Connect Groups page to learn more about small group ministry at Triad.