What is a Care Group?
Our mission statement at Mission Road is that we "exist to magnify God and spread a passion for His glory by making disciples and shepherding them to value Jesus Christ above all else, in every dimension of life, as regulated by the Word of God." Care Groups is a primary method chosen for carrying out the shepherding aspect of this statment. As such, a Care Group at Mission Road is a small group of church members who interact on a regular basis for the sake of fellowship and the corporate pursuit of sanctification. The elders, Care Group leaders and indeed every member of the church are called to be involved in this co-shepherding process. Jesus Christ, who designed it as a primary means of growing in grace, has put this process into place and intends for it to be a top priority for his redeemed people. (See John 13:34-35; Acts 2:41-42; Heb. 12:14; Rom. 12:1-13; 1 Cor. 12:12-26; Gal. 6:8-10; 1 Thess. 5:14-15.)
Why does a Care Group exist?
The core reason Care Groups exist at Mission Road is the understanding that the corporate gatherin on Sunday can be a difficult time to develop relationships characterized by biblical fellowship and discipleship. Due to the size of Sunday services, depth of relationship is difficult to attain only in that context. Thus, members are also encouraged to be involved with smaller segments of the church body: Care Groups. These groups are designed to be a relational network focused on applying scriptural truths to one another's lives; such truths can be gleaned from a study of a biblical passage, review of the Sunday sermon, or a book the group is reading through. As such, relationships are bult within the meeting contexts to encourage open and honest convesation about the struggles and triumphs being experienced by individual members. These relationships and conversations facilitate the practice of the many scriptural "one anothers," also serving as a springboard into the deeper levels of accountability and discipleship relationships. The intended result is for members to have opportunities to encourage, exhort, teach, help, bear with, pray for, rebuke and love one another through all the shared experiences. (See Rom. 12:16, 15:14; Gal. 5:13, 6:2; Eph. 4:2, 4:32; Col. 3:13, 16; 1 Thess. 5:11, Heb. 3:13, 10:24; Jam. 5:16; 1 Pet. 4:8-10; 1 John 4:7; Tit. 2:1-8.)
Who can join a Care Group?
Involvement in Care Groups at Mission Road is limited to members of the church. We know this may be different from other small group structures. However, the leadership at Mission Road has prayerfully made this decision because of the purpose of our Care Groups as an extension of the elders' shepherding responsibility and focus over the church members. The elders have been given two primary tasks by God regarding the church: "Shepherd the flock of God among you" and "Guard the flock." Membership is a commitment a church-goer makes, establishing him/herself as a part of the flock "among you," and thus eliciting the responsibility of the elders to shepherd and guard them. Without membership there is no accountability or knowledge or whether a church-goer is a part of that flock or not.
The elders see Care Groups as an effective way of extending shepherding and guarding to the members at Mission Road at a smaller and more intimate level. Within that more intimate level a "care group family" of sorts is established, wherein members can extend and receive both the spiritual and physical care God prescribes. This facilitates a safe and consistent environment for Care Group members under the accountability of the elders. (See Heb. 13:17; Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2).
*For more info on becoming a member at Mission Road Bible Church, email Pastor Aaron.
How are Care Groups kept accountable?
The leaders of the individual Care Groups are either elders of the church or men who have been selected by the elder board for the responsibilty. A Care Group leader will be a man of strong, Christ-like character and have a life oriented around the Savior. He will also typically have demonstrated leadership integrity and a heart for shepherding people while involved with a Care Group not under his leadership. A Care Group leader is not primarily a teacher, but is instead a shepherd working alongside the elders to care for the church body members in their various walks of life. These individual Care Group leaders are under the supervision and accountability of the church elders. Structures are in place to allow for constant elder awareness of the content and directino of Care Group meetings.
When are Care Group meetings?
Care Groups meet throughout the KC Metro area in member homes on the 2nd & 4th Sunday nights of a month. In addition, Care Group members are encouraged to be spurring one another on in life and faith throughout the course of their days. More information (time/location) on the formal meetings can be obtained by emailing Pastor Aaron or calling 913-648-2233.