“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” – Romans 12:3-13

Life is hard. Life is difficult. We all run into various kinds of challenges; health problems, financial issues, conflict within our families. We have an opportunity to encourage one another and that is part of what church is about. Church is not something that you do individually, it is something that you do collectively. We believe the church is not a weekly gathering, building or an institution, but a living organism of people banded together in our mission to help the whole world find and follow Jesus. We want to make disciples who make disciples, and love like Jesus while transforming Panama City and the world. We are the “family of God.” A family is by its very nature inter-dependent. In Christ, Christians belong to one another. This is a divine reality and not dependent upon experience. We are bound to one another because of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ, not because of shared interests or like-mindedness or common experiences. What it means to be a part of a local church is that you’re inter-dependent with other people in your church.

But as churches have become larger, we have moved to smaller groups of people doing life together. Northstar Groups have one, simple purpose: to bring people together. We believe God created us to live in relationship with others and only then can we live the Home Run Life He intends for us. Sharing life through community is part of our design, but meaningful relationships aren’t always easy to find. That’s why Northstar groups exist—to make these life-changing relationships relevant and accessible to you.

We believe 100 percent in the small group model and our goal is to have everybody participate in a small group every semester.

It is through doing life together that our problems become smaller and God uses others to bring healing, support and encouragement to our lives—whether we realize we need it or not. Your small group will quickly become a place where others don’t just know your name, but care about what is happening in your life.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is it important for Christians to be intentional about community? How would you rate your experience in small groups to date?
  2. Small groups are not some extraordinary social experience. What do you see as the principle role of small groups?
  3. How do small groups provide opportunities for you to grow? How do small groups provide opportunities for others?
  4. Would you agree that the physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer? If so, what makes it so? If not, why not?
  5. Pray and ask God to help you find a Northstar Group that is right for you.