Small Groups & Covenant Groups
“Making and Multiplying Disciples,
Growing Through Community”
Community is important at Christ Covenant Church. With such a large congregation, having smaller groups to connect with helps our members feel more like they belong and also gives them more opportunity to learn and grow in their relationship with Christ. Our goal is to create an authentic, multi-generational community which is truly a spiritual family.
What is a Small Group?
At Christ Covenant, a small group is one dynamic of a multi-faceted ministry of discipleship and community. Our expectation is that, as folks are connected to the church through morning and evening worship and the ministries of the broader congregation, they will have an increasing sense of belonging to the local body of believers that is Christ Covenant Church. For members, this belonging is partly achieved through our shepherding groups, the goal of which at Christ Covenant is to know and be known by an elder. In order for members to go deeper into friendship, we encourage participation in a Small Group. We also welcome our visitors to participate in a small group. In general, the purpose of the Small Group Ministry of Christ Covenant is to provide a substantive context for Christians to grow in relationship with one another and to grow in faith and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. This aligns with our mission: to be a church that is “developing disciples of Christ by helping people move toward spiritual maturity.”
There are two types of small groups at Christ Covenant:
Covenant Groups are typically made up of men and women, singles, couples, and/or families. These groups focus specifically on biblical disciple-making, accountability, encouragement, and prayer. Each Covenant Group is unique. Some groups are multi-generational. Other groups are primarily made up of folks who are in similar life stages. Typically the groups meet on a regular basis to study scripture, pray for one another, provide encouragement and support, and, often, serve together.
Small Groups are gender specific. Click each title to go to the corresponding webpage with more information.
- Men’s Ministry - The Men’s Ministry exists to build up men in the truth of God’s Word so that they would be servant-leaders in their marriages, homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces. The ministry regularly offers studies and discussion groups as well as fellowship gatherings for men of all ages.
- Women's Small Group Bible Studies is our women's small group ministry. The emphasis is on building relationships in the church that help women grow in grace and knowledge as they do life together. Tuesday small groups meet for 90 minutes followed by teaching in a large group setting. Satellite small groups may follow a different format. Please see our webpage for particular details about each satellite group.
Click here to register for a Covenant Group or Men's Small Group or contact Tom Buiter with questions.
Please go to the Women's Ministries page for information and registration for other women's small group opportunities and studies, including Merea, a cross-generational ministry where young women are encouraged to grow in their faith as they develop homemaking and hospitality skills under the trained shepherding care of older women.
What do small groups do?
Every small group is unique, but typically members:
- Meet on a regular basis to study scripture
- Pray for one another
- Provide encouragement and support
- Often, serve together.
How long is the commitment to a small group?
At Christ Covenant we have many different small groups and do not believe that every group must follow the same timeline for development and multiplication. Rather, each group serves the purpose to deepen the relationships of those involved with one another and enrich the deepening of the participants’ walk with God. We encourage our groups to meet as long as the season of life permits. However, we know that entrances and exits to groups can be abrupt and unnatural. In order to clarify expectations for groups, we ask our small groups to meet from September through May and then to fill out surveys in May to gauge whether participants desire to remain with their present group, switch groups, or cease participating. We know that small groups might not be for everyone, but we believe that one unsatisfied group experience does not mean every group is the same.
How do I find a group that's right for me?
That’s a great question! If you don't know exactly what kind of small group you want to join, you may register online by clicking here. For your convenience, pew cards are also available so you can sign up at any time. Please place them in the offering bags.
We will ask several questions about your expectations, your schedule, and any particular needs that may be relevant as we try to find just the right group for you.
Rarely, occasions occur that may require your willingness to wait to get connected to a small group. Our commitment is to connect people as quickly as possible. Please know that we are committed to small groups and to individuals as we seek to serve in the context of the broader ministry of Christ Covenant. If you are asked to wait on a good “fit” for a short season, we trust that God will meet your needs as only He can as you wait.
7 Reasons We Need Small Groups
(excerpt from a sermon by John Piper. Click here for the full sermon.)
He has given pastors to the church “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12). I believe in what I do. And I believe that it is not enough. Here are the seven reasons I gave the small group leaders.
- The impulse to avoid painful growth by disappearing safely into the crowd in corporate worship is very strong.
- The tendency toward passivity in listening to a sermon is part of our human weakness.
- Listeners in a big group can more easily evade redemptive crises. If tears well up in your eyes in a small group, wise friends will gently find out why. But in a large gathering, you can just walk away from it.
- Listeners in a large group tend to neglect efforts of personal application. The sermon may touch a nerve of conviction, but without someone to press in, it can easily be avoided.
- Opportunity for questions leading to growth is missing. Sermons are not dialogue. Nor should they be. But asking questions is a key to understanding and growth. Small groups are great occasions for this.
- Accountability for follow-through on good resolves is missing. But if someone knows what you intended to do, the resolve is stronger.
- Prayer support for a specific need or conviction or resolve goes wanting. O how many blessings we do not have because we are not surrounded by a band of friends who pray for us.