Real Life Groups

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photo by Glenn Carrie

photo by Glenn Carrie

What will our church look like in 18 months?  How about ten years?

Pastor Matt and the Elders have been praying about these questions, and this month Matt will preach about the goals that the elders have prioritized.  Here’s a glimpse at what you can expect.

Pastor and the elders see two main principles guiding us for the next ten years.  The first is to reproduce emotionally bonded churches that are focused on the gospel.  The second is to share resources among those churches to meet needs, raise leaders, and coordinate action.

These principles will prioritize our goals over the next decade.  For example, we will support our families with effective, adaptable ministry models for all ages, using those models to plant two new churches in the region.

Other goals include multiplying transitional houses and counseling centers, starting a youth outreach and discipleship program modeled on Urban Impact, starting a training school to raise biblical, theological, arts, and ministry skills regionally, and hosting an annual conference to gather believers regionally for training and planning.

Our leaders have prayed over and established short term goals to help us meet the long term ones.  We are taking steps to fill the Pastor of Christian Education position.  Additionally, we will start more Real Life Groups, raise operational giving to fund the budget and replenish cash reserves, and complete a campaign to transform our facility.

Please be in prayer as Pastor Matt takes November to walk us through the scripture that forms the basis for these goals.

Real Life Groups montageAs we kick off another fall, now is the perfect time to look into joining or recommitting to one of the many Real Life groups here at Chico Grace Brethren.  Below you can find brief descriptions of our groups, times, and what they are studying.

Phil and Marta have been opening up their Magalia home to about 12 people who have met faithfully for the last five years.  They meet on Thursday’s at 6:30 pm.  If you’re looking for a group that goes slowly through the Word and catches all the details, this is the group for you. As Phil explained to me at the beginning of the study I attended, they go through the book once at the rate of a chapter a week, then they go through it again verse by verse.  They are currently in Hebrews.

If you’re looking for insight that is a result of diversity, you can go to Darlene’s south Chico home, where Andy is finishing up the Matt Chandler study on Philippians. They meet on Wednesdays at 7:15 pm.  In one cozy group you’ll find a wide spectrum of ages (from child to adult), life experience, and cultural background that is delightful to listen to and learn from.

Dave and Nancy lead a group in Chico in the area of Henshaw Ave. They meet for lunch after the Sunday worship service from 12-2.* (Bring your lunch!) The group has recently completed the Chip Ingram book God as He Longs for you to See Him and is about to begin an R.C. Sproul video series called Knowing Scripture. Nancy has said that they want the group to be a safe place where people can be themselves, so over the summer groups members took turns sharing their testimonies.

If you like to laugh, head out to Lee and Susie’s north Chico home on Thursdays at 6:30 pm. It is alive with laughter and active discussion. Retired pastor, Rick, is leading a Keith Loy DVD study in the book of James. The last time I visited, he told me, “I don’t worry about participation.”  For Rick and Sandy, who were new to CGB when they started leading the group, this has helped meet a need for fellowship.

Another of our faithful Real Life groups is led by David for the guys at the Chico Rescue Mission. It is held at the Mission on the corner of Esplanade and Panama every Saturday night at 6 pm. They are currently studying Titus with the Keith Loy DVD study. The men live and interact together daily so there is a guards-down feeling of honesty, openness and accountability. The group is open for anyone to join.

Finally, Dave and Irene  plan on reconvening their group in October on the first and third Thursday of the month at their Paradise home.  They have a saying: “The first time you visit our house, you’re a guest. After that, you’re family.” As a result their small group meetings are family gatherings with both kids and adults. They will decide on what to study after their first meeting.

For more details on any of these groups, call the church office at (530)342-8642.


*Meeting dates were updated on July 20, 2016

Right Now Media_PowerPoint_SlideThere is now one place you can find a library of Christian educational content, from kids’ videos to conference sessions and 10,000-plus Bible studies. RightNow Media began in 2000 to connect young believers to full-time ministry. It has since morphed into an organization that serves the church as an online source of Christian content.

We have subscribed to RightNow Media to provide our small group leaders and Lifebuilder teachers with resources for teaching. We also believe that RightNow is a valuable educational resource for both individuals and families in our church.

If you have  provided us with your email address, you will receive an invitation from RightNow Media. Simply follow the instructions they provide to set up your own profile at no cost to you.  If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity but aren’t sure if we have your email, just fill out the Welcome Card in your bulletin and drop it in the offering plate or turn it in at the Info Booth, or contact the church office.


Real life logoIf you had been at the Real Life group at Chris and Candace’s on Friday, June 12th at 7:15pm, you would have had plenty to think about leading up to this Father’s Day.  The group has been studying Colossians, and the focus on Friday was in chapter 3: 18-25.

“Husbands love your wives, and do not be harsh with them (v. 19),” and “Fathers do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged (v. 21)” both speak to the important role of men in the family.  This importance was not lost to Andy, the group’s leader, as he led the group through a discussion on the material.

The discussion delved into what God has for men, women, and children in their family roles, and also brought to light some of the roles we create for ourselves that are detrimental. “Women must do the cooking,” and “Men must do the finances” are verses from a cultural viewpoint that prescribes one-size-fits-all roles.

There was a lot of laughter and great insight that was a direct result of the group’s diversity. In one cozy group sitting in one normal sized living room there was a wide spectrum of age, life experience and cultural background that was delightful to listen to and learn from.

“I like being in a group where there’s a wide range of ages,” said Darlene, who attends the group. “It’s really neat because you get a lot of different points of view.” Darlene, who is a widow, enhanced this spectrum herself by bringing a lot of depth to the discussion from her experience.

As the discussion came to a close focusing on children, I was reminded of something Keith Loy said in the video on Colossians: “Children don’t create problems as much as they reflect them.” Like all truisms, this one has limits and exceptions. I couldn’t help but relate this to my own role as father and husband.

Ironically, what kept coming back to me was what Paul wrote to slaves: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” No matter what our station or position in life, or what role we have in the family, it seems to me that this statement should sum up the heart of our intentions. It is certainly one of the best ways for Fathers to lead.


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