Once a local church body grows beyond even a couple of dozen members, its leadership must make an effort to “shepherd the flock of God that is among you” (1 Peter 5:2). The Christian life is to be lived in the context of accountability, love, and meaningful relationship with others, not just showing up to hear sermons. Small groups provide a tool for the members of Grace Bible Church to obey the command of Hebrews 10:24–25 to “consider how to stir one another to love and good works…encouraging one another.” Small groups function as the personal heartbeat of the church in four ways:
An unhealthy church is one in which one or two men try to shepherd everyone. A thriving church body, however, has locally-discipled men and their wives who shepherd small groups, providing fellowship, teaching, example, counsel, and friendship.
A small group is an arena in which all the members of the group can use their spiritual gifts. From leading the group to organizing fellowship to serving one another in practical ways, all spiritually healthy members of Christ’s Body can serve one another in this context.
Members of a small group support and care for one another in two ways: they “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15) and they “love one another with brotherly affection” (Romans 12:10).
A small group is an ideal venue to invite the unsaved. Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). The gospel can be proclaimed in an informal setting in the context of showing practical kindness and love for the lost.
Announced Small Groups
Our groups meet throughout the month at various locations and are oriented towards various stages of life (anyone is welcome in any of these groups). Please join this time of encouragement and Bible study application.
This weekly study follows the Sunday message and involves discussion and application of our God's Word directly into our Christian life. We have several studies throughout the area meeting different times of the week or month that are open to anyone.
Spanish Sermon-based Group
We now offer a weekly small group for Spanish speakers where we study the Sunday sermon and discuss what we have learned. Join us for study and fellowhip - learn more about our Spanish Sermons on our media pages.
Parenting & Young Marrieds
Offered seasonally, we walk through topics and discussions taken from biblical parenting and marriage issues. These classes are offered one at time usually and are encouraged for couples recently married or young families. We meet in homes around Bakersfield and enjoy fellowship and encouragement from our church leadership.
Fundamentals of the Faith
We encourage anyone new to our church to take this interactive and relational series focusing on basic Christian doctrines. Fundamentals of the Faith ("FOF") will provide new believers with a rock-solid theological foundation. It will also help more mature Christians sharpen their understanding of key doctrines and equip them for evangelism and discipleship. Get ready for 13 lessons to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Participants will need to purchase a workbook (available at the GraceEquip Bookstore) and complete weekly homework.
Other Topical Studies
From prayer to ecclesiology and beyond, we offer other fellowship groups througout the year, meeting in various areas of town.
A list of current and ongoing small groups can be found on our GraceNet Community Portal.
For more information regarding this ministry, please contact David Grant (firstname.lastname@example.org).