Small Groups Pay Big Dividends

October 19, 2021

There was a time, a decade or so ago, when nearly 70% of Cornerstone members and attendees were participating in what we then called “Community Groups.”

The way we defined a Community Group was pretty simple.

You met with a small group
You met regularly, usually weekly
You had some form of Bible study together
You prayed for one another
You cared for the needs of everyone in the group, and on occasion, you even found ways to care for the needs of others in the community.

Back then, our vision of Cornerstone was a church of small groups.  A church of small groups will typically look to their groups as the primary way in which people get connected, grow, and care for the prayer and physical needs of each other.  

In other words, when you’re a church of small groups, most people are going through together.

But not all churches have a vision of becoming a church of small groups.  

Some churches will choose the path of becoming a church with small groups.

What the difference?  A church with small groups will see small groups as one possibility to help people connect, grow, and care for one another—but not the only possibility.

Churches with small groups typically create other ways to make sure the body of Christ is cared for.

Well, here we are, just about ready celebrate twenty years of ministry through Cornerstone Church, and the bottom line is that we have lots of ministries, Bible studies, events, and what we call “Life Groups” for individuals and  families to connect in at homes and at the church.

We have sermon-based Life groups, special topical groups, college/young-adult Life Groups and a Single’s Life Groups.  Each of these groups has its own personality and way of building relationships and growing in Christ—but one thing they have in common is that they’re doing it TOGETHER

Right now, we have 12-15 groups meeting every week, but several of them have reached the maximum people their living room will hold so they’ve had to put the brakes on inviting new people to their group.  And that’s where some of you might consider getting involved.

We’re always on the lookout for new leaders and hosts and this fall is the perfect time to join or start a new group, just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  

I know it’s a busy time, but it’s also a time to make new friends at Cornerstone, and by the time January 1st rolls around—you’re off and running, ready for a new season of building relationships and growing in Christ—together.

So, this is the season to consider leading a small group or hosting one at your home.  Together, Debra and I have participated in several Cornerstone Life Groups over the past 13 ½ years.

In fact, some of the friendships and life-long relationships we’ve built might have gotten their start in some of yourliving rooms!

If you’d like to learn more about how to check out a Life Group in your area, or lead or host a group, just call the church office and ask to speak with Alona Kellick.  She’d love to help you get going in a group, or even help you start your own small group.

And while I’ve got your attention, most of you probably know by now that the Lord has opened a new door to ministry for me, after nearly 14 years at Cornerstone, starting November 1st I will filling  the position of Executive Director of the Long Beach Rescue Mission.  

Since 1971 the mission had offered food, shelter, and the hope of a new life in Christ to thousands of men and women. Hundreds have graduated from the mission’s year long live-in New Life Program. They have gone on to experience what it’s like to live in a productive family, to hold a job and be a productive member of society that’s giving back and engaging in a local church right here in Long Beach.

Deb and I will miss Cornerstone, but we’re also excited for this new opportunity.  One of my favorite worship songs describes God as way maker, promise keeper, and light in the darkness.  He’s all that and so much more.  

Our job is to keep giving people heaven.  I know that’s what you’re going to do—and so will we.

God bless you, everyone!

About The Author

Terry Miller

Terry Miller is Cornerstone’s Associate Pastor with responsibility for overseeing men’s ministry, adult leadership classes, Cornerstone School of Ministry, assimilation, media and pastoral leadership in the absence of the Lead Pastor.