Dear members and friends of VP,
Over the last two months we prepared for and started four Home Groups in a series called “Rooted.” It is encouraging that we have close to 50 of our members and friends attending groups that meet on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. What is even more encouraging is that those who are participating are reporting that it is a fantastic group of studies and that they are glad they decided to participate.
The “Rooted” series is very different than anything we have done at VP in 25 years. The reason is that it is focused on more of an experience than a study. The experience is accomplished by commitment of all participants to do 5 days of devotions before attending the Home Group. These devotions are developed for personal interaction with God through understanding of the Bible. Personal interaction means it is more about encountering God daily than learning facts and gathering information in one study a week. When all members of a Home Group prioritize this interaction during the week, the Home Group provides a time of sharing about this encounter among the members. The Home Group becomes relational as people learn about the growth process of the other members.
I originally resisted doing the “Rooted” series because I felt people are more open to a study than a relational approach to Home Groups. I thought that expecting all participants to commit to doing the devotions would be too much to expect. On the other hand, I did believe it would be a very productive effort if our members and friends rose to the challenge of regular daily commitment to spending time with God. I am very happy to say that the members and friends of VP have risen to the challenge.
The result is that the Home Groups are becoming a meaningful reflection of the way God is working in the lives of those who participate. There is a growth in understanding our brethren and deepening of relationships because of the prioritization of sharing our devotional encounters with God in Home Groups. Praise the Lord. There is growth in our “oneness.”
“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one.”John 17:22
As I am writing we have only completed three weeks of the “Rooted” series. In addition to what I have already shared, I can add that the devotions have been excellent beyond what I originally imagined. While only 2-3 pages of reading are involved in each daily devotion, the substance of those pages is highly relevant to every Christian’s walk with God.
Week 2 covered “Who is God?”
What I appreciated in this series of devotions is that God’s personality and commitment to us was stressed in the Creation Account. He is focused upon providing for us and desires relationship with us. The “goodness” of everything created by God was stressed in addition to the fact that everything created was wonderfully designed for us to manage and enjoy. God created a home for us and gave us responsibility for it. The intrusion of “evil” was not God’s design and, in fact, was an assault on the “goodness” of everything God created. God’s response was to protect us and design a solution so that death would be eliminated from life. The devotions were wonderfully designed to help us see the personal side of God more clearly in the creation accounts. They were a healthy starting point for our relationship with God.
Week 3 covered “How Does God Speak to Us?”
The devotions involved in Week 3 stressed the many ways God speaks to us. The focus was upon the ways we can listen to God and how prayer can draw us into His presence. The study of prayer as more than simply asking God for what we want made this study of incredible value for every Christian. Again, as with the devotions in Week 2, there was primary focus upon the relational value of communion with God rather than simply learning of facts about prayer. I was personally challenged to intensify my prayer life in a more relational and interactive way with God.
From what I have seen in three weeks, I believe the “Rooted” series is worth doing many times in the church. It introduces and re-introduces us to fundament beliefs and commitments that will strengthen us in our Christian walk every time we review the material.
It is not too late to join a Home Group. Consider joining the many people who are involved. Get the material studied (Book or Photo Copies) from Pastor Kevyn and get the address for the group you might attend based upon your night of choice (Sundays, Mondays, Wednesday or Thursdays). Pray for the VP family so that we will, indeed, grow as a result of our Home Group commitment.