Are you interested in meeting new people? Deepening your relationships at Blacknall within a smaller community? Studying Scripture with others? Then consider joining a Blacknall small group! Contact the Small Groups Ministry Team for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring 2015 Small Groups
View the condensed list of current group openings below or download a printable version with full details. Please email email@example.com for more information, or feel free to contact a group leader directly.
Southwest Durham: Weekly Bible study with a book study once per month. Coed, multigenerational. Contact: Jeff Baker
Southwest Durham: Coed, Multigenerational. Contact: Allison Dimsdale
South Durham: Coed, multigenerational. Meets first, third & fifth Sundays of the month. Studying historical interpretation of the Old Testament. Contact: Liz Shively
Central Durham/American Village: Coed, multigenerational. Meets bi-weekly. Contact: Dean Storelli
Blacknall: Coed, multigenerational. Contact: Steve Metcalf
Blacknall: Coed, multigenerational. Will meet while Youth Group is in session. Contact: Beth Solie
Blacknall: M3 Men’s Bible Study, multigenerational. Weekly Bible study over breakfast and coffee that follows the sermon series. 6-7 a.m. Contact: Peter Lima
North Durham: 6-7:30 p.m. Study will coincide with sermon series. Children welcome, coed, multigenerational. Contact: Ramonna Cvelich
Southwest Durham: Men’s group, multigenerational. Currently studying 1 Corinthians. Contact: Mark Paulson
Watts Hillandale/Old West Durham/Walltown: Preference for members who live in these neighborhoods. Coed, multigenerational. Contact: Jonathan Hilliard
South Durham: 7:30 – 9 p.m. Coed, multigenerational. Contact: Michael Whisenhunt
North Durham: Coed, multigenerational. Contact: Emily Cox
What is a Small Group?
Small groups are relational communities that pray, fellowship and learn from Scripture together in order to foster deeper relationships with one another, grow in their understanding and knowledge of God and be shaped more into the likeness of Jesus Christ. In some cases, they are also excellent places for people who are just beginning to examine (or re-examine) the role of faith in their lives.
Click here to download a printable brochure.
Why are small groups important to the life of Blacknall?
Small groups are a primary place where deep Christian community is formed and the work of discipleship happens. They are an important part of meeting our desire for meaningful relationships in a world that is becoming increasingly fragmented.
Jesus himself elected to call together a small group to journey with him. They asked questions together, ate together, worshiped together, served together and rested together. As they lived and traveled as a group, Jesus taught about and modeled a life conformed to the will of God while being committed to deepening relationships with his disciples. During some of his most difficult moments, including the last days of his life, Jesus withdrew from the crowds and chose to be with this group. This band of followers grew in maturity together and became a living testimony to the power of Jesus at work in their lives. (See Matthew 4:18-22, Matthew 26:6-13 and Acts 4:13.)
Small groups at Blacknall can serve a similar purpose, offering a place for members to journey through life together, allow themselves to know and be known, and to grow together as disciples of Jesus Christ.
What are the characteristics of a small group?
A small group is an opportunity for life changing community at a level that is rarely available in other walks of life. A group is usually comprised of several people who meet regularly for prayer, worship, encouragement and study. It is a safe place to ask questions and pursue answers to the hard questions that life brings, as well as a place to build community and discipleship. The leader of the group is not expected to have ready answers but, instead, to facilitate a conversation where growth and discovery can happen in community. Because the focus is on real life change, not simply acquiring more knowledge, believers and interested non-believers of all types can share in the discussion. The focus is on the heart, not the head.
Here are a few other characteristics:
- A small group spends time together in intercessory prayer, and some will commit to pray for one another during the week.
- Small groups are encouraged to have an “open chair,” which is a figurative way to demonstrate that they are open to new members joining the group.
- Groups choose their meeting time during the week and their location, which may be someone’s home, the church or another convenient location. There is often food or coffee, and childcare can be negotiated as a group forms.
- There are many study topics and resources available to the group for discussion, including topical studies, follow-up sermon questions and Bible book studies.
- The group leader serves as the facilitator of these discussions and leaders will be in regular communication with the Small Group Ministry Team.
- Some groups, as they grow, may decide to help launch a new group with some of their members.
What are the roles of the Small Group Ministry Team and Small Group Leaders?
The Small Group Ministry Team (SGMT) at Blacknall Presbyterian Church seeks to promote the formation of committed small groups.
The Small Group Ministry Team is comprised of representatives from various small groups in the congregation and the adult discipleship pastor. They usually meet together as a team on a monthly basis and are open to new members who are excited about the ministry of small groups in the church. They meet with the session at least yearly to provide a report on the health of the small group ministry and welcome the session’s input and feedback throughout the year.
As the SGMT promotes the formation of small groups, they hope to 1) promote within the Blacknall community the benefits of being in a smaller, committed community with one another, 2) assist new groups with getting started, 3) equip new leaders and 4) provide support for the groups as they grow and multiply. They hope to be in contact with small group leaders at least several times per year, provide resources as needed, offer workshops for leader growth, and be in prayer for the groups.
Small group leaders are the backbone of this ministry. Their commitment to Jesus Christ, to relational community, and to spiritual growth and discipleship allows a space for small groups members to find connection and to flourish. The SGMT is grateful for them!
The SGMT expects that small group leaders will be in regular communication and prayer with their small group members, communicate with a member of the SGMT several times per year, attend a workshop or meeting of other small group leaders once per year, evaluate their group’s desire to continue meeting together at least yearly, identify and encourage other potential leaders in the group, and welcome new members, knowing that over time the group may benefit from multiplying and forming another group.
Interested in joining a group? We would love to help. Email the Small Groups Ministry Team for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org. Chris Blumhofer (chair), Allison & Todd Dimsdale, David Dunderdale, and Dean Storelli