Care Groups provide a small group, peer-support setting where individuals invest a season of their life to overcome a particular life-dominating struggle. These groups provide a safe environment where members learn insights and skills that allow them to more fully engage in life and biblical community.
What are Care Groups?
Depending on the particular topic, a Care Group may be described in one of these ways:
- Recovery: Groups for those struggling with a life-dominating sin, addiction, or a traumatic life event
- Support: Groups that provide encouragement and support during a period of suffering or hardship
- Process: Groups that help participants process problematic emotions or multiple life stressors
- Educational: Groups that provide information and/or resources about a specific life issue
Sometimes focused groups like recovery or support groups can be criticized for centering an individual’s identity in their struggle. We want to provide the benefits of peer support, subject-specific groups while emphasizing that our identity is not found in an issue but in an individual: the person of Christ. Rather than making an issue the centerpiece of our Care Groups, we strive to make the gospel of Christ the core of all our groups.
What is the difference between a Care Group and a Discipleship Group?
Let’s start with the question: What does a Calvary adult discipleship group look like?
Calvary Groups are a place of belonging where people grow deeper as they engage the Bible in community. Our adult discipleship groups vary in size from smaller groups meeting in homes to larger Bible Fellowship classes meeting on Sunday mornings. These groups meet to study and discuss the Bible, pray for one another, care for one another, and oftentimes find ways to do ministry together.
Care Groups meet for a more narrow purpose, to get one’s life back in order by addressing a particular life-dominating struggle or major life transition.
This is because Calvary adult discipleship groups focus on general discipleship—the overall spiritual maturity of a group of believers who are facing a variety of challenges and opportunities—while Care Groups focus on particular discipleship—setting aside a season of life to overcome a particular life-dominating challenge with people facing a similar challenge.
So, which one is for you?
If you are looking for a group of people to do life with as you grow in general discipleship and find ways to reach your community, a Calvary adult discipleship group is the place for you. Click here for more information on these groups and the options available to you.
If you feel like a life challenge is preventing you from engaging relationships authentically or are part of a Calvary adult discipleship group and need more intensive care in a particular area, then a Calvary Care Group may be a great option.
What are the guiding values of our Care Groups?
Calvary’s Care Groups have 7 core values which guide each group:
- Bible-Based & Gospel-Centered
Programs and information do not change people. God changes people through the power of the Gospel and the wisdom of His Word experienced in relationships where we are deeply known and loved.
- Recognize the Difference between Sin and Suffering
Care Groups recognize that struggles of sin are different from struggles of suffering in a variety of ways. While every believer is at the same time a saint, a sinner, and a sufferer, there are meaningful differences (both practically and theologically) between an individual’s struggle with sinful behavior and the suffering that results from what has happened to the individual.
- Built on Honesty and Transparency
The courage to be honest about our suffering or sin may be the essential expression of faith in overcoming a life-dominating struggle. Care Groups create an environment that fosters honesty and transparency by incarnating the love of God and protecting confidentiality within the group.
- Uphold Confidentiality
We all have a story to tell. Care Groups are a safe place where group members can be honest and transparent without fear that their issues will be shared outside of the group. Care Group members commit to hold in confidence things shared within the group.
- Avoid Struggle-Based Identity
When an individual has struggled with one issue for an extended period of time, that struggle may begin to define them. Care Groups are structured in ways that alert the participants to this temptation and guide them away from it. Care Groups strive to teach and model what it means to live out of an identity as a dearly loved child of God.
- Blend Discipleship, Accountability, and a Guided Process
Care Groups are more than a Bible study on a given subject. They develop a practical theology of their subject during the group study and guide members through an intentional process while the members hold each other accountable.
- Transition to Larger Discipleship Ministries
The goal is for each Care Group member to transition to a general discipleship group after completing their Care Group while many Care Group members participate in a general discipleship group at the same time.
How can I join a Care Group?
Care Groups meet at various times and locations. Most can be joined simply by showing up for the next scheduled meeting; some require pre-approval by the Care Group leader. Use our Group Finder below to view information on each Care Group that is currently meeting and connect with the leader regarding any questions you might have.
How can I lead a Care Group?
Care Group leaders are individuals who have experienced a life-dominating struggle, experienced the grace of God through that struggle, and grown in their faith as a result of that struggle. Often individuals for whom this is true want to help others along the same journey they have travelled.
If that describes you, and you are an active member of Calvary, then Don Schmidt, our pastor for counseling and care, would welcome the opportunity to talk with you about that. Click here to let us know of your interest.
We have offered many classes over the past year. Not all groups meet every week and not all groups are meeting at this time. Please use our Care Group Finder below to view a list of Care Groups that are currently meeting.
DEMENTIA CAREGIVER SUPPORT
FAITHFUL & TRUE
A support group for men who desire to live lives of sexual integrity and moral accountability in the power of the Holy Spirit by providing confidentiality, acceptance, and trust.
A friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you following the loss of a loved one.
A recovery group for those who struggle with unwanted or life dominating substance abuse.
SUICIDE LOSS & GRIEF SUPPORT
A safe place for those affected by someone’s suicide to come together and talk openly with others who have shared a similar experience.