Highlights from Gospel Communities

by Andrew Munneke

Before we began attending The Hill Church it had been difficult for us to find a gospel
community group where we felt welcome or connected. This was due to a multitude of reasons
but mostly because, as is often the case, members who joined at the onset of a group have a
tight bond and joining in the middle can prove challenging. Because of this, we were anxious
about visiting/joining a group. All of those concerns and fears were quickly allayed when we
began the Golden’s Wednesday night group in January 2016. We were met with nothing but
kindness and it was easy to see God working in the group. It was inspiring and convicting to see
such mature and authentic people living out the gospel in their daily lives. We quickly
developed deep and close relationships with the members and knew that we had people who
loved and cared for us and our children.
It was that strong sense of comradery and solace that caused great emotion when it was
mentioned that our group might split in December 2016. Our hearts hurt at the idea of our
spiritual refuge changing in any capacity, and there were definitely tears. Thus, it was very
surprising when we felt God calling us to lead our own Gospel Community Group. We
experienced many emotions and had many questions. Are we good enough? Who are we to
lead others? Can we guide a group to become as good as our current group? Will anyone want
to come? What if we fail? All of these and more ran through our mind, yet we still felt God
pushing us forward. No one was more shocked than Donovan, when we told him of the urging
we felt to lead a gospel community group. Deuteronomy 31:6 says to “not fear or dread for it is
the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave or forsake you.” As we moved forward,
we felt this play out as the pieces easily came together and our questions were answered.
We are now 8 months in and feel blessed by God. We were fortunate to bring some of our
previous group members as co-leaders. They have been such a gift as they were instrumental in
the transition process and have helped carry the load of weekly meetings. In addition, the
other members who started this group with us have continued to attend. It has been incredible
to watch everyone grow in love and knowledge of each other and the Lord. Other than us
geriatrics, most of our group is college age, with all the attendant workload and crazy
schedules. But that has not stopped them from taking time to go out and show Christ’s love to
those in the community. We could not be prouder of their love and grace for others. We look
forward to seeing what the future brings.

- Amanda Benafield

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