Expanding Community: A Practical Guide

by Kyle Reese, Pastor


From September to May, my Monday mornings are booked. The past several years I’ve had the opportunity to meet with a men’s study group on the first and third Monday and a women’s group on the second and fourth Monday. We begin our conversation around 8:15 and dismiss by 9:00. We’ve done book, topical, and biblical studies.


This year, we are reading the Gospel of Mark together. The conversation is always stimulating and insightful. What is most remarkable is the level of fellowship and friendship. It shows the power of relationships within the church and smaller groups within it.


Thinking about small groups, as we imagine our church in 2020 and beyond, we are expanding community through the creation of small group opportunities. One is the creation of “Lunch Ladder” groups. The concept is simple (and not confined to lunch!). We invite you to sign up over the new few weeks, and we will begin the groups in October. Once you sign up, you will be partnered with two other participants. Participants can be individuals, couples, or families with children. 


One participant, at the top of the ladder, will be in charge of gathering the group together for October fellowship. The meal can be in the participant’s home or a restaurant. The next month, the next in line “moves up the ladder” and makes the decision for the group. This will be a wonderful opportunity to expand the community and enjoy the company of fellow HABers.


Finally, we’re creating a variety of affinity groups. The first will be for the “sandwich generation,” meaning individuals who are caring for their children while also attempting to care for aging parents. We are reaching out to our HACAA families as well as Little Friends at HAB families and anyone in our community. We anticipate a wonderful opportunity for mutual learning, support, and deeper community.


Expanding Community,


For more about how meals can be a place of connection and community, check out this article: The Dinner Table as a Place of Connection, Brokenness, and Blessing

To sign up for the Lunch Ladder program or to find out more about affinity groups, contact us at 904-396-7745.