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The 4 Group Types

If you didn’t know anyone at Central but wanted to get to know others, in what kind of environment would you feel most comfortable?

If you knew you needed to be with others in order to grow spiritually and wrestle through life’s questions, in what kind of group environment would you feel at ease?

Four Kinds of Groups for You at Central

At Central, we realize we each have unique personalities, needs for connection, spiritual growth and restoration in different seasons of our lives. We also recognize people feel more confident in joining a group when they have an idea of what to expect.

That’s why any new group we begin will be one of these four types.

Interest Meet-ups

These gatherings are perfect if you’re ready to get connected with more people that share a similar interest. Anyone is welcome to join in at any time, thought registration varies depending on the type of meet-up.

What happens at Interest Meet-ups?
People meet in a casual environment to engage in intentional conversation over an activity of shared interest. So far we’ve had meet-ups and groups who go mountain biking, do motorcycle rides, hiking, playing hockey, watching football. Women have gathered to make mini-gardens, learn how to do creative bible journaling, or sew for girls around the world.

Purpose of Interest Groups

  • To help people connect into community in a fun and social environment
  • To gather people with common interests in order to build relationships and share thoughts on faith

Community Groups

Gatherings of 10 – 70 people who meet in public settings throughout our region based on area or stage of life. Anyone is welcome to join at any time.

What happens in Community groups?

The large open group style offers a wider opportunity to get to know more people, while meeting around tables provides a safe environment for small group conversations. Each group meeting includes live or video-based teaching followed by relevant discussion and prayer for one another. Since authentic relationships are vital to spiritual and personal growth, we often include fun ways to get to know one another and opportunities to serve in mission together.

These groups generally meet in eight-week semesters three times a year. This rhythm helps participants become intentional in their group commitment for a concentrated time, but also have the freedom to build relationships on their own outside of the group during the low-key months.

Purpose of Community groups
• To help people connect in community in a safe larger public environment
• To develop new Small Group Leaders
• To start new groups that will meet in homes

Examples:

  • Based on location: North St. Catharines, Thorold, Grimsby, South Coast of Niagara
  • Special demographics: Families with young children, senior youth, junior youth, young adults, young professionals, men, women

 

Small Groups

Gatherings of 6 – 15 people meet in homes or other settings on a regular basis throughout the year to encourage one another through life’s questions and grow in faith together.

What happens in Small Groups?
Over time we consistently build relationships, grow spiritually through learning and discussion, serve in mission together, support each other in difficult times, and share grace, truth, encouragement and accountability. Often limited to the size of someone’s living room, these small groups provide intimacy for spiritual growth that often creates life-long impact. Most small groups meet from September through June weekly, bi-weekly, or in 8 week semesters.

Purpose of Small Groups

  • To provide an environment for people to grow in the areas of community, discipleship, serving and mission
  • Be part of a group that cares for each other as participants and join together to care for others outside the group
  • Offer accountability, encouragement, and support

Examples:

Couples, men, women, young adults, over 55

 

Classes & Support Groups

These group environments can range from 6 to 30 people and focus on a specific area of spiritual growth or healing. Based on a certain topic, these classes and groups run for 8-12 weeks at a time and are offered once to three times during the year.

What happens in Classes & Support Groups
A facilitator or teacher presents information either in person or by video. The Class format offers in-depth teaching around a specific topic, followed by exercises, questions and answers in order to apply the concept to daily life. The support group format offers more opportunities to share personal stories, discuss the content and encourage other group members. Usually, homework is required since the majority of healing and growth happens in the action done between classes. Consistent attendance builds trust and maximizes support through the group experience.

Purpose of Support & Classes

  • Provide focused biblical teaching on an area of question or struggle
  • Help people navigate through a difficult season of life or faith questions beyond what can be offered in other groups
  • Provide opportunities to learn, interact with and apply new principles and practices

Examples:

  • Freedom Sessions – a proven healing-discipleship journey for people who are ready to look honestly at how they deal with life’s challenges and discover the abundant life God intended them to live.
  • Made to Flourish Course – how to feel sad, anxious or frustrated and still be happy
  • DivorceCare – support for healing and rebuilding life after separation or divorce
  • GriefShare – support through the painful emotions and challenges after the death of a loved one
  • Realign Your Finances – taking practical, biblical steps towards financial peace and freedom.
  • Alpha – a series of interactive sessions that engage people in open, honest conversations about faith, life and Jesus – no matter where they are in their faith journey.
  • Faith Foundations Classes –  learning the fundamental beliefs of followers of Jesus and discovering practical tools and practices to grow in faith

 

Getting started

To register for any of these groups or classes, browse through the search tool at centralcc.ca/groups.

If you’re curious about starting a group, this post will show you how to get started.