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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Connection Group (CG)?

It is a group of Jesus’ disciples supporting each other in mission to bring the Gospel to our not-yet saved neighbors, friends, and family.

Why are CGs the preferred “group ministry” for ELC?

We are responding to the commands of God’s Word and the urging of our pastor under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. God exhorts us to spend our time and energies on making disciples by baptizing and teaching, as well as on studying His Word and caring for the needs of those in our church. Acts 2:42-47 lays a framework for our CG activities.

How is a CG different from a Small Group or Fellowship Group?

A CG’s FIRST FOCUS is sharing the Gospel in Word and deed with neighbors/family/friends –intentionality of “missions at home”. The SECOND PRIORITY is ministering with Word and deeds to believing members in the group, since this activity happens very naturally anyway.

Why should I be involved in a CG?

You will help fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) by partnering with God in the Kingdom work He is already doing here on earth. Your own faith will be strengthened by seeing the powerful ways that God’s love and truth transforms hearts and lives. You will be making eternal investments.

What if I am not comfortable talking with my neighbors about my faith and Jesus?

CGs help us talk about faith and Jesus in a relaxed setting that prepares us for more challenging settings. Members in our group encourage us with ideas and with prayer. God will help us first build relationships with unbelievers, and then share in faith/life talk.

What is “the plan” for CGs?

Simply… “crawl, walk, run”. Most Emmanuel CGs are now in the “walk” stage, and excited for God to keep preparing them for “running”.

What does "Walk" mean?

Existing CGs have gotten to know each other and have grown in embracing God’s heart for the lost. Stories are being shared weekly to highlight ways God is working through His people to touch the lives of those not-yet saved. CG leaders and members are requesting training for tools to share the Gospel and for resources to meet needs of those coming to new understandings of God’s love and freedom available to them. There is also a new awareness of community patterns and needs.

Why is in-depth Bible study not emphasized in CGs?

A Bible “Point to Ponder” is usually offered. Bible “digging” happens on Sunday mornings in our “Mosaic” study classes.

Why is there a focus on new CGs being geographical

Our nation currently faces a crisis of faith among even Christian young adults. We also see growing emptiness among our aging population. Joining mixed ages and stages of life allows for perspective, wisdom, support, and significance as we experience a REAL God in the midst of REAL life events.

Why is there a focus on new CGs being intergenerational?

Our nation currently faces a crisis of faith among even Christian young adults. We also see growing emptiness among our aging population. Joining mixed ages and stages of life allows for wisdom, support, perspective and significance as we experience a REAL God in the midst of REAL life events.

Why is there a focus on new CGs meeting weekly?

This commitment shows God, our neighbors, the world, and even ourselves… that the CG time is a PRIORITY! We will be sharing thoughts and ideas about how to do this in the midst of busy schedules. This is one scenario where quantity of time DOES improve quality of time.

How many members make up a CG?

2-4 people may initiate a CG, and 10 - 16 members is probably ideal. However, ELC has groups with less or more. Under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the Manager of CG will assist with adding members or “birthing” new groups.

Should involvement in a CG be a higher priority than other involvement at ELC?

Answering this question is a matter of prayerful consideration for each person. The nature of God’s heart is “to seek and to save the lost”, and our partnering in that process requires sacrificial time and commitment to invest in relationships. We remain confident that God Who calls us to this work will not forsake Emmanuel or the Services of Word and Sacrament along with the support ministries necessary to build and grow His church.

What is the structure of leadership for CGs?

Each CG will be hosted in a member’s home. The H.O.S.T.S (Helping Others See The Savior) will facilitate communication among members. Each CG will also be under the care of a Lay Minister who will act as an advisor to the host. The Lay Ministers will be under the care of Randy Holdeman, Manager of Connection Groups and Lay Ministry for support and resources they may need, and Randy is under the supervision of Emmanuel’s Senior Pastor, Rev. Mark Carlson.

How many groups will there be? Who decides membership of each group?

There are now 23 CGs in ELC, with plans for several new ones beginning in 2017. The process for participation in CGs will be the prayerful decision of members guided by Lay Ministers in each geographic area, along with input by the Pastors and the Manager of Connection Groups and Lay Ministry. We trust that God will be working among our body to bring about blessing and variety of resources in the make-up of each CG.

What are "coaster questions"?

Coasters have been created offering questions to deepen reflection and application of God's Word and work among us.  Based on Acts 2:42-47 which is the foundation of CGs, these questions involve the 5 areas of Mission, Worship, Discipleship, Ministry and Fellowship.

The coasters provide a simple way to get to know each other in new CGs, and keep veteran group members alert and receptive to spiritual maturity.

Other Questions?

Please contact Randy Holdeman, Emmanuel’s Manager of Connection Groups and Lay Ministry at 937-238-8232 or email at RHoldeman@emmanuellc.org.