“I already have community.” – “I don’t need anyone to ‚Äòdo life with.'” – “The worship services give me everything I need to feel connected!”– “I already serve one hour and worship for another. I don’t have time to ‚Äòget in a group.'”
You’ve seen the motto throughout the church: “Everyone needs a group!” And perhaps you agree–you are part of the 80% of Bellevue worship attenders who are also members of a Life Group. But the other 20% may have trouble agreeing with that sentiment. For Justin and Ashley Veneman, they realized being in a group was exactly what they were missing.
“When we first started looking for a Life Group of our own,” Ashley shared, “we were going to the service as a family, and then serving, but Justin and I also knew we didn’t want to neglect being in a group together. We wanted a welcoming community where we felt like there was a place for us and accountability to be plugged into our Church Body as a married couple.”
The Venemans have been active Bellevue members for as long as they can remember. They’ve participated in special programs, their kids have been involved in Children’s Ministry since birth, and they have even served at Bellevue for years. However, adding their own Life Group to the schedule meant a full Sunday–and attending an 8:00 a.m. Life Group. They knew it was going to be an adjustment–but one that proved well worth it.
“Because I teach in Next Gen at 11:00 a.m., we looked for a class together at 8:00 a.m.,” Ashley said. “I’ve got to be honest, it can be a hard thing for me to look forward to any kind of socializing that early in the day, but we’ve found we love it. We really miss seeing our people when we have to be out on a Sunday.”
At Bellevue, we believe everyone needs a group because growth happens in groups. When you only attend large-group functions like worship services or special events, it’s tempting to have a surface-level relationship with the church. Groups become a place where you can be known, challenged, and encouraged.
“Groups take you from feeling like a person in the building to knowing you’re a known and needed part of the Body,” Ashley said. “Whether it’s in our Life Group, my Bellevue Women small group, or teaching in Next Gen, I know there’s a place for me, a need I can meet by serving, and people who care when I’m there and miss me when I’m absent.”
Are there people who miss you when you take a week off from church? When you want to learn more about God and the Bible, do you have someone you can ask hard questions to who will guide you in truth? When you’re going through a difficult time, do you have someone you can go to for prayer and encouragement–or who will offer to bring you food, pick up the kids, or check the mail? All of these things are part of having a community, growing together, and being there for each other.
“I don’t want to miss out on the part that God has asked, intended, and allowed me to play,” Ashley said. “He is good, and He only does good. So, I know that missing out on finding where He wants me to be involved is missing out on the goodness He has in store.”
That’s why we believe everyone needs a group. Have you found yours?
Bellevue offers many different types of groups: Life Groups, Equip Groups, Life Solutions Groups, and Discipleship Groups. Learn more at bellevue.org/groups and find the one that’s right for you.