Welcome to Community Groups! Here we want to help you connect with others in a community of learners and leaders who seek to Love God Completely, Love People Authentically, and Make Disciples Globally. Our trained leaders look forward to hanging out and hosting Bible based discussions and times of prayer.
Starting in fall our theme is “Off the Map”, as we’re inspired by what God does with his followers as he leads them to new places, learning that we can trust Him too with the unknown in our lives. All groups go for 10 weeks and start at 7pm. You can join a group that meets on campus or meets virtually. Space is limited so sign up now.
Author: Andrew Paulsen
Fellowship Found in a Hospital
Our church is not very far from a hospital. You can see it right from the freeway just a few minutes after you see Calvary Murrieta. Hospitals are interesting places. Some of the most intelligent people work there with the most sophisticated machines, yet it’s a place nobody wants to go... until they have to go. In hospitals you experience amazing joy and crushing grief, the beginning of a new life and the end.
Hospitals are also places of amazing support and community. Last week, as many of you know, the Collins had to rush to the hospital as their oldest son had an unexpected episode that led to lengthy CPR and an ambulance trip. The nurses and doctors at Loma Linda acted quickly and fortunately he survived. I was able to visit the family that evening and though things were still tense and a lot of questions had to be answered, there was such support and love from friends and family who were there even though they couldn’t go in. Literally we are all outside along the sidewalk. Jamie and Meghan Collins were planning on being Community Group leaders. They were excited and committed to helping people connect and grow closer to God and each other. I understand better why. They wanted to pass on what they had already received from so many. Grace...Prayer... Encouragement...Love. I was honored and humbled to be part of that group that night which showed such Godly support.
2 weeks ago in Acts 16: 25-34 we heard Brian teach about the jailer in Philippi was converted after he experienced the love and joy that Paul and Silas had while in jail, so much of it so that they didn’t escape when they could have but stayed to talk to him. Paul and Silas I’m sure had an easier time making that decision to stay because they had been able to pray and praise together. Praying and Praising God in a community is so powerful, and it often leads to a powerful witness. Like family and friends standing outside a hospital, praying and comforting each other.
Author: Andrew Paulsen
Off the Map
Have you ever wanted to know exactly where you’re going? Of course you have. It’s why map apps are some of the most used features on our phones. It’s why a generation ago Garmins were big sellers for people to have in their cars. It’s why a real long time ago AAA was famous for all its free maps and travel guides to its members (My mom still has a collection in the glove box!)
And many of us wish we had a map for our life. That we knew the route, the journey, the ups and downs ahead of time so we would be prepared. But unfortunately, God doesn’t give us a map for our lives. So what do we do?
Choose Adventure over Anxiety
Not knowing where we’re going can makes us feel anxious. We don’t want to get lost, we don’t want to make a wrong turn, we don’t want to have to waste time or energy. But let’s be honest. Even when we think we have the control and know exactly what will happen, we still feel anxious. And something usually does go wrong, and we realize that we don’t have control. So instead of being anxious, we can adopt the attitude of adventure. We can look forward to the unexpected blessings and challenges and enjoy the discoveries that come with them. If we accept the adventure and take pleasure in discovery, going off the map is good.
Choose the Maker over the Map
For those who believe God is in control, it can be quite frustrating when God allows the unexpected twists and turns into our lives. And often, we ask God for the map of our lives, of our future. We say “God can you just give the layout of what’s going on? Can I have a map?” And instead, God says, “Hey, I’m going to jump in the car and be your guide, we’ll go together. Won’t that be fun?” Most of us resist, “Yeah, but, can I know?” I picture God responding with a smirk and a twinkle in His eye “No, I’ll just tell you to turn left or right when we get to those crossroads.” In other words, God is in control, but if you’re like me, you don’t want to be in that place of dependence, you don’t want to need God to be your guide. But if we accept God as our guide, we don’t just get to have an adventure with amazing discoveries, but we have a relationship that is rich with moments and memories.
Acts 1:7 "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Our theme for the fall is "Off the Map". It fits the book of Acts we’ll be studying. Paul and the rest of his team were literally going to places they’ve never seen, experiencing things they’ve never dreamed about in the lives. God was fulfilling his promise in Acts 1:7 of going to the ends of the earth. That’s where Paul and Timothy and Barnabas and Peter lived in Acts, off the map. And that’s where Community Groups is going to live in the Election Year, Covid Crazy time of 2020. We bring our experiences and gifts with us, we go together and not alone, and we let God be our guide. He’s the mapmaker; He knows where He’s leading us.