Why is there a need to change what we're doing at PCC?
The message of Christ will never change. We're simply committing to adapting our methods to better connect with people in our current culture. This shift is less about what other churches are doing and is more about effectively reaching people for Christ in our community in 2019 and beyond. What has been effective before may not be as effective today.
Why are we not adding additional Sunday morning classes instead of Home Groups?
This new vision is a movement towards what we believe is the best way of practicing authentic community—as modeled by the 1st Century Church. Practicing hospitality in our homes with brothers and sisters in Christ will help us to better open our homes and lives to those who are far from Christ.
What is the difference between a Life Group and a Home Group?
The shift to the name Home Group is a strategic opportunity provided by the adoption of our vision: Impacting Homes by Opening Ours.
In addition to aligning with vision terminology, Home Group is a clearer and simpler term than Life Groups. They are simply groups that meet in homes whereas the term Life Group must frequently be explained both to insiders and outsiders. For example: Are they groups that meet for life? Are they groups that do life together? Where do they meet?
Terminology aside, our new Home Groups program will have a clear mission, a defined structure, and an obvious role in fulfilling the vision of the church. The adoption of our new vision provides an excellent opportunity to make a clear discipleship pathway. A new name for this program capitalizes on PCC’s new vision and the opportunities for ministry it provides.
What does the movement towards Home Groups mean for my Life Group that already meets in a home?
We're glad that you are already practicing hospitality in your homes in the context of other brothers and sisters in Christ! Your group will receive additional guidance in the coming months regarding the differences between a Life Group and Home Group according to this vision. Depending on what stage in the life cycle your Life Group is currently in, it might be time for you to considering how your group could multiply and invite more people in. Please see the graphic below to considering where your group is in the life cycle.
With this new vision, how will people learn about the Bible?
One of the areas that we recognize we have fallen short as a church is making disciples who make disciples. Certainly Bible study is a large piece of that puzzle, which is why we are launching EquipU, a university-style, short-term teaching model. We expect this form of teaching will help us in the following ways:
- It will encourage us to own our faith and understanding of God and His word
- It will equip us to engage unbelievers in spiritual conversations
- It will be part of a disciple-making process
- It will provide confidence in understanding the deeper areas of our faith
What does a successful Home Group look like in regards to our vision?
Home Group gatherings follow the pattern of the early church as exemplified in Acts 2:42-46, including:
- Conversations that continue the topic of Sunday’s sermon, guided by sermon-based discussion guides: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching …”
- The practice of genuine Christian fellowship (i.e., koinonia: friendship, gospel partnership, and glad sharing): “They devoted themselves … to fellowship …”
- Gathering around the table to share good food: “They devoted themselves … to the breaking of bread in their homes and ate with glad and sincere hearts.”
- The discipline of prayer: “They devoted themselves … to prayer.”
Home Group meetings provide regular structured opportunities for brothers and sisters in Christ to practice hospitality by opening their homes to one another. The act of regularly opening homes to one another disciples home group participants into the kind of people who also open their homes to those who do not yet know Jesus. Home Groups provide a place for accountability to our vision of reaching out and developing redemptive relationships with neighbors. Home Group members ideally are paired with others that live geographically close to them, but there is flexibility within this model.
A successful Home Group is a group of brothers and sisters in Christ who are growing together through fellowship, the breaking of bread, prayer, and sermon-based discussions with an openness and missional intention to welcome others in.
How will PCC support the leaders of our Home Groups?
PCC is in the initial stages of seeking and hiring a Director of Home Groups. A primary function of this staff position is to continually work to equip and shepherd Home Group leaders through personal relationships, new-leader development initiatives, and ongoing training.
The only way we can multiply our impact as leaders is if we are willing, as Paul instructs, “to equip [God’s] people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ”(Ephesians 4:12-13).
How do we trust that Home Groups are doing what they should be?
First, we entrust the work of the Spirit in any group that is gathered in the name of Christ, regardless of location. Secondly, casting a clear vision and equipping group leaders will be an important part of the process. We plan to have levels of coaching and accountability in place for all Home Group leaders.
We don't have time in our family schedule to host people in our home or be in someone else's home each week, what should we do?
This is a high call and may mean making some hard choices along the way. We believe that it will mean making some hard choices for what we call people to within the church walls, as well.
Can't you show hospitality without opening your home?
This is absolutely true. However, we believe that opening our actual family home is the clearest vehicle for communicating this vision and the most authentic way of opening our lives to others. We believe such hospitality will overflow into other areas of our lives and we hope that will be true for you in your work place, schools, and other areas of life.
How are we going to use our big building?
This vision is an opportunity to reimagine what making better use of our building means, such as being hospitable hosts to different community events that need a building. Of course, the church will still be utilized to to accomplish "loving all people to new life in Christ." As part of this vision, we're simply recognizing that the Church is not a building located at 800 Dan Jones Road, you are the Church to the people that God has placed in your path in your neighborhood, community, workplace, and other areas of influence.