Introduction to Care Groups
Care groups are where the true work of the church occurs. We believe that it is virtually impossible to grow in our relationship with the Lord Jesus without having the committed, redemptive relationships that care groups provide.
What are care groups?
Care groups are small groups consisting ideally of 4-12 people. These groups meet in homes throughout the Greater New Haven. During the meeting there is worship, a short Bible Study, a time of sharing and ministry, followed by a time of fellowship and food.
Who are care groups for?
Care groups are open to all people who desire to join together with other believers to worship God and seek His face.
What is the purpose of care groups?
- To grow in our knowledge of God and learn to walk in His ways: In order to live fruitful lives we need to know objective truth about God and His plan for us. In care groups we spend hands-on time studying the Bible and applying it to our lives.
- To provide adequate pastoral care for each member of the Vineyard: We believe that people can best be cared for by someone who knows them and has an on-going, committed relationship with them. Group leaders have been trained to care and minister to the people in their group. It is within the context of care groups that people can receive the love and care that they need to grow and mature in Christ.
- To enable each member to develop deep and lasting relationships: It is said that people come to a church for many reasons but they stay for only one: relationships. We all have a need for friendship that can't be met in the context of Sunday worship. Care groups provide a family atmosphere where social needs can be met, both during the meeting and in outside activities. People grow close to each other as they worship and play together.
- To provide a secure environment for the practice, development, and testing of ministry gifts: The Vineyard is strongly committed to church members doing the work of the church. Care groups provide a safe place in which to develop each person's gifting and ministries. In this context, these gifts can be evaluated, and each person can receive feedback, encouragement, and ultimately be released to minister in other contexts.
- To provide a place for both crisis and process healing: We believe that healing prayer is most effective in the context of loving, committed relationships. Care groups provide an intimate, accountable, and safe atmosphere in which each person can share his or her problems and hurts and receive ministry for the healing of the whole person.
- To develop servant-leaders: In the context of care groups, leaders are raised up with caring, pastoral hearts who desire to love and serve the Lord and others.
- To nurture outreach: As Christians, everything we do needs to be kept in the perspective of our privilege and responsibility to extend the Kingdom of God around us. We try to encourage each group member to maintain redemptive relationships with those who do not know Jesus.
- To multiply: The goal of each care group is to start other groups on a regular basis. More groups mean that more people can be effectively cared for.
When do care groups meet?
Care groups meet during the week at homes in the Greater New Haven area.