Small Groups

DOING LIFE TOGETHER ON MISSION

Our small group ministry is a “disciple-making movement” (Matt. 28:18-20; Eph. 4:11-12). It is a key component of our church ministry as a whole. We define a small group as a family of missionary servants who make disciples. In other words, we want to help each other follow Jesus.

The Purpose of Small Groups
The Purpose of Small Groups

Small groups aim to be the best context for fellowship, spiritual formation, and mission. It is a core avenue that we use to mobilize and equip people to accomplish the mission and vision of Hillside. Every small group is seeking, by God’s grace, to embody five core practices. These practices are worship (adoring Jesus), service (honoring Jesus), discipleship (learning about Jesus), celebration (praising Jesus), and multiplication (sharing Jesus). Come join us!

Ready to Jump Into a Small Group?
Ready to Jump Into a Small Group?

Are you new to Hillside and have been considering joining a small group? Or perhaps you were once in a small group, but life situations or Covid interrupted your participation in a way that left you needing a new small group? Or perhaps you just feel like it’s time for a fresh start related to small group participation. If any of these apply to you, then watch for the next opportunity to join Launch, a 6 week program with the goal of forming new small groups and plugging people into existing small groups. This will be a fun, interactive time helping people get to know each other and modeling the characteristics of a small group. Check back for the next opportunity to join a launch group, or contact Pastor Brian Gingerich.

Small Group FAQs

WHAT ARE SMALL GROUPS AT HILLSIDE?

Gatherings of 5-12 people who are on mission with the gospel, and meet regularly for worship, discipleship, service, celebration and multiplication. Small Groups are the context where the gospel gets “fleshed out” in our everyday lives.

HOW DOES THE GOSPEL GET “FLESHED OUT” IN SMALL GROUPS?

Every small group will focus on 5 core values: discipleship (learning about Jesus), worship (adoring Jesus), service (working for Jesus), celebration (rejoicing in Jesus) and multiplication (making room for others to experience Jesus). These values constitute a holistic framework enabling personal growth and spiritual transformation in the best context—intentional community.

I'M NEW. MAY I JOIN AN EXISTING GROUP?

Yes! We desire that everyone participates and serves in a Small Group. We believe that Small Groups are the best place for community, accountability, fellowship, personal and spiritual growth, and mission. Therefore, Small Groups are the best place for discipleship.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

Some small groups have a specific focus such as missions or intercessory prayer, depending on personal interests. Others take on a more traditional small group format. You might enjoy a group with those who are in the same stage of life – or you might prefer something more intergenerational. You decide!

WHEN WILL WE MEET?

Each group determines the frequency of meetings. The more a group meets, the great effect this will have on spiritual formation. Regular meetings will help you connect more quickly in authentic community. Each group decides on the length of its meetings, but usually around 1-2 hours. Most groups meet in homes, but the group’s purpose and identity will dictate location.

HOW LONG WILL I BE IN THE GROUP?

Groups may last for just a few months – or they might last much longer. Don’t be afraid of making a commitment. Each year the groups have “on/off ramps” in September and January that allow you to either change or continue on with your current group.

WHAT WILL WE STUDY IN OUR GROUP?

Each group is encouraged to pick their own study topic based on the mission of the group. You will certainly have input into your group’s decision. Groups might study a book, enjoy a Bible study, watch biblical teaching videos, or discuss sermon-based questions from the weekly sermon. Every two years Hillside offers a church-wide study option for all the groups to join for a set period of time. This is always an enjoyable study that brings the church together with a single focus.

MAY I INVITE OTHERS INTO A SMALL GROUP?

Absolutely!