We have almost 2,400 middle school students, senior high students, college students, international students and community members from the surrounding communities of Ames and Ankeny actively engaged in our 304 connection groups. Each of our groups has its own feel, but at the core has the same objectives and core values. The first group you visit may not be the best fit for you, but there are many groups in different locations and life stages. Get connected where you fit best. Before visiting a connection group, you can take a look at core values, what to expect and browse groups and childcare resources.
A God-honoring FAMILY
Through time spent together inside and outside of our groups, we will develop meaningful relationships. Spiritual growth does not happen in isolation. God has designed the local church to function like a family, and meaningful relationships are the key ingredient in forming this kind of community (Mark 3:33-35, Romans 12:10, Ephesians 2:19, 1 Timothy 3:15, Hebrews 3:6, 1 Peter 4:17). A God-honoring family is marked by authenticity, encouragement, accountability and unity.
Authenticity – For relationships to be meaningful, they must be authentic. We will create a safe place to be open and honest about what is going on in our lives. (James 5:16, Ephesians 4:25, Colossians 3:9).
Encouragement – We will pray for one another, comfort those who are hurting, strengthen those who are weak, share in each other’s sorrow and celebrate each other’s victories. (Romans 12:14-15, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 5:17, 1 Timothy 2:8, Hebrews 3:13, 10:25, 12:2, James 5:16).
Accountability – We will give each other the freedom to regularly ask how we are applying the truth in our marriages, our families and other relationships. If one of our members rejects this accountability and persists in sin, we will love them enough to call them to repentance and obedience to the truth. Our goal in this process is not to punish, but to restore them to spiritual health. (Matthew 18:15-20, Romans 15:14, Colossians 3:16, 2 Thessalonians 3:15).
Unity – Through love, we will seek to maintain unity in the Spirit by putting on a heart of kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. If conflict or brokenness develops among the members of our group, we will bear with one another and diligently pursue forgiveness and reconciliation so as to maintain a bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3, Colossians 3:12-14, Romans 14:19, 15:5, James 4:11, 1 Peter 1:22, 4:8).
The APPLICATION of the Word
The Bible is the basis for all aspects of our faith and practice. As we gather together, we will seek to better understand how we should apply the teachings of the Bible to our lives, and then take active steps to live out these truths (Romans 15:4, 2 Timothy 3:15-16, Hebrews 4:12, James 1:22-25).
We will encourage everyone to find a place of service that best suits his or her gifts and abilities. To develop this life orientation, we will serve each other as needs arise, serve in the church and serve our community together. (Matthew 19:21, Mark 9:35, Romans 12:4-8, 15:26, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Galatians 2:10, 5:13, 1 Peter 4:10-11).
We will be purposeful about adding new members to our groups, developing new leaders and starting new groups so more people can join a group. The method and timing of group multiplication will be determined in consultation with the group, its leaders and its elder. (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 2:47, 5:14, 6:7, 9:31, 16:5).