Small Group Outreach Beyond the Walls of a House

As they sat down to discuss Sunday’s message at dinner group week after week, Dan and Victor started to feel an itch. They wanted to do more than dream about loving their neighbors and impacting their city. They wanted to get off the couch and into the streets.

So two years ago this month, they launched a dinner group that would be intentional about serving the city of Hoboken. At first, the group was just three people, including Dan and Victor. It has since multiplied to two groups and 23 members. But that’s not the only thing worth celebrating this month. The first women’s impact dinner group launched several weeks ago.

Impact groups resemble any other dinner group in that members meet to discuss Sunday’s message and share life together. But they might also spend that time bringing the message to life through various service initiatives. Dan and Victor’s groups, for example, have handed out popcorn at Movies Under the Stars and delivered water and snacks to bus drivers, PATH workers, firemen, EMS volunteers and Parking Authority workers. One night, they even handed out quarters to people paying for parking.

“It’s an intentional outlet to do something together that’s bigger than ourselves,” says Julia, who leads the new women’s group. “And that’s where I feel like deeper relationships can grow… When I look back, the deeper relationships that I’ve built in my life have been through coming together to love and serve others—and witnessing how God moves in it.”

But Julia says her biggest reason for starting the group was that while she was learning a lot about God’s love on Sunday morning and in dinner group, she wanted to do more than that. She wanted to share that love with other people.

“I was driven to the point where I felt like God was asking me, “What is the point of this? What is the point of getting together in community and just keeping this to yourself?” she says.

Julia says she hopes group members will look outward as much as they look inward. Some weeks, they’ll meet at an apartment or restaurant to discuss Sunday’s message and how it applies to their life. But over time, she says, they’ll also help one another identify their passions, purpose and potential—and encourage one another to use them to serve and impact the world around them.

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Source: Church Leaders