My husband Jack and I have been part of the Vineyard church for a little over a year. We rededicated our lives to Christ 6 years before that in a small church in red bluff, which was exactly where God wanted us to be at that time.
The first thing our pastor and his wife did was invite Jack and I into their home where we learned the Word with a small group of elders of the church who were still in love with Jesus and his mission for His people to go into the world to make disciples. It was there that we grieved the loss of our unborn child and close family members, these people filled us with hope through hard times and who celebrated our growth and brought meals when our first child together was born.
This is the spirit and goals of CORE groups within churches. Do life together – messy or not!
When we felt His call to another church, it was a small church plant, where community was a must to accomplish goals and work closely with one another. It was then after 5 years of being in the same CORE group together, our home flooded and we lost our home and belongings. My first call, within minutes of evacuating, was to our pastor, who was the leader of our CORE group. He “rallied the troops” and our CORE group was there for us immediately. They started demolishing ruined parts of our dry wall to repair, carried out damaged household goods, and salvaged what was left of our first home. Again, this is the spirit and goals of a CORE group within the church body!!
Fast forwarding to our first year at the vineyard. Jack was the one who wanted to come to the vineyard, I was hesitant based on previous experiences in similar style churches but my hesitation was mainly based on the rampant church growth we were seeing each week we went. We were used to small churches, and an even smaller community of people to share life with and raise our children together. After meeting with Luke and understanding more of the beliefs of the church – and obviously overcoming his hairstyle, we were sold! What better way to learn than to teach and lead? We partnered with the original vineyard gangsters, Heather and Scott Igarta, who would lead the group and would just use our house to host. Two sessions of CORE groups together now and we have learned more about the Vineyard, grown closer to the Lord as a couple and individuals, and made an amazing set of friends to do life with – along with moving into a new home all moved by our family, friends, and our CORE group.
If you’re wondering if you’re ready to lead or host a group, I would HIGHLY encourage you to sign up online or on the connect card and talk to one of the team leaders or any CORE group leaders if you have questions. The Vineyard team leaders does a great job at equipping you with the tools necessary to lead or host and they are always there to answer questions you don’t have the answer. We aren’t perfect leaders or hosts, we don’t even know the bible in and out, but we show up and welcome people with open arms. That’s all you have to do!