1. What is being “pruned” in order for leadership to focus on equipping comGroup leaders?

    Thus far many events and initiatives such as Men’s Second Saturday Breakfasts, Children’s Ministry summer programs, Fall Retreats, iNVERSION Forums, and 2017 Devotional books have been taken off the calendar. Others such as the Missions Conference are being significantly altered. But all leaders and ministries are in the process of rethinking their ministry in order to plan for maximum fruitfulness

  2. How will comGroups be overseen?

    Each comGroup leader will have an “advisor” assigned to them. Advisors are pastors/elders and their spouses who have faithfully led a comGroup for years. Each leader will have an experienced advocate and not feel like they are making crucial leadership decisions alone.

  3. How will comGroup leaders be trained?

    See question nine for more details, but also classes like Head to Heart and the Spiritual Retreats are being assessed and adjusted to be an investment into comGroup Leaders, especially in the vital area of spiritual and emotional health. Vital (healthy) leaders make for vital comGroups. We would encourage those interested in leading to go through a “Discipleship Intensive” like this first. Additionally, this blog will provide additional and ongoing training.

  4. What does it mean for comGroups to have a specific mission?

    It means that the comGroup Leaders can and do regularly articulate the purpose for their comGroup. How is your comGroup life together helping you follow Jesus where you live, work, and play? When we lose sight of that, we typically fall into an easy routine and cease to bear fruit. Sometimes this means the “home base” of your group transitioning from a Bible Study to concrete acts of service (e.g. visiting the infirm, making blankets for the homeless, etc.).

  5. What does it mean for comGroups to be “diverse”?

    Diverse simply means that a comGroup is made up of people that aren’t “just like us.” The best way to foster healthy diversity in the group is to begin with diverse leadership (e.g. empty nesters, a single person, and a young married couple). Some comGroups will be less diverse in a specific way for the sake of their specific mission (e.g. Women’s Ministry).

  6. Are comGroup Leaders teachers?

    Though many leaders do have that gift, comGroups are not places where the word is “officially” taught. In comGroups we share life together under the word and encourage one another in our discipleship to Jesus. comGroup Leaders lead, but they don’t necessarily even facilitate the discussions. Leaders are listeners who make crucial decisions and make sense of the chaos that comes with mission!

  7. Should women lead mixed-gender comGroups?

    Absolutely. Though VCC’s bylaws prohibit women from serving in the office of elder, women are equally and dynamically gifted for ministry. The body of Christ suffers when women are marginalized and prevented from using their manifold gifts.

  8. Does Vital comGroups mean that other ministries are not being focused on this year?

    No. This is rather a healthy reorientation for every ministry around a clear “operating system.” For example, the Student Ministry team is learning to see themselves as “advisors” for the leaders of comGroups that are less diverse for the sake of their mission to disciple middle school and high school students. Instead of our ministries competing for time and volunteers, we are uniting as a church under a clear and simple vision.

  9. How will new comGroups be planted?

    Our normal practice will be to train up new leaders from within existing comGroups. This way current Leaders and their Advisors can mentor these new leaders who are already experiencing comGroup life.

  10. What is the best way to join a comGroup?

    The best way is to be invited of course, but for now the official process is filling out a Connection Card or signing up online so Laura and Dane can connect you with an open group. We are working on a system where the leaders are notified when someone is interested in joining a group.

  11. Do all comGroups follow the sermons?

    The curriculum sent out on Sundays (Q’s & Cues) is meant to provide a helpful home base for leaders. This way the church grows in unity and has an opportunity to respond in community to the Scripture and message from Sunday. However, sometimes groups may need to go through a specific topic (e.g. marriage, spiritual disciplines, depression) and that is encouraged. We plan to work on a library of trustworthy content to choose from for this very purpose.

  12. What is the backup plan for those who aren’t or can’t be in a comGroup?

    Without comGroups, our structures for membership, staff, deacons, and elders could never hope to fulfill their role to oversee the whole flock. With a healthy “scalable care structure” in place in comGroups, the leaders can truly focus on those who can get lost on the margins. This is also a main part of Pastor Sid’s role as Community Care Pastor.

Valley Community Church

Author Valley Community Church

Valley Community Church in Pleasanton, CA exists to make gospel-centered disciples for the glory of God. The pastoral staff runs the Every Member Mission blog.

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