Christians, myself included, often wonder how they’ll squeeze ministry into their already-hectic lives. Well, when you belong to a community group, you can stop wondering. The ministry opportunities will come to you.
My wife Claudia and I belong to the group headed by Paul and Kimberlee Spuler, truly humble and hospitable servants. It’s been an incredible blessing to us and Jason, our 15-year-old son. It’s also been instructive. We’ve learned that small groups provide the ideal nurturing environment in which we can minister to one another. At least, that’s where it all starts.
The first thing I learned from my community group hosts, Paul and Kimberlee Spuler is that hosting is ministry in its own right. We first met at the DiMarcangelo group. Thanks to Sheila and Mark DiMarcangelo’s kind hearts, that group grew so big it was clear it had to form into smaller groups. As much as Claudia and I were reluctant to leave, we were excited to form another group. But we couldn’t host. For one thing, we live too far away.
Paul and Kimberlee prayed about it and discussed it at length. Especially with two teenage sons and home schooling, the Spuler home is a busy place. “Paul and I were discussing it and then we realized that we’re already so busy, we just asked ourselves, why don’t we stay busy for the Lord?” Kimberlee said. Paul adds, “It’s been a blessing to us. We have a great group, and it’s because the people the Lord has brought our way.”
And once the Lord brought those people, ministry began to flow. First there were service projects to families within the group, involving everything from painting rooms to financial counseling courtesy of Bob O’Hara. When Oni Dakhari spoke up that she was having a tough time getting Kai into the house, the group launched the Handicap Access Team. With help from DiMarcangelo community group member Mark Lucas and Lucas Construction Services, the team is on track to build a concrete access ramp for Oni and Kai.
The amazing thing about ministry that starts in the community group is that it flows out and blesses in all directions. In this case extending to families outside of the group, even families outside the church. Claudia and group member Joan Ianello team up to knit hats for Angel Tree. When the group learned that a nearby family was in need, it organized to prepare meals for them. That family is now attending Sovereign Grace. Eleven of the group’s members are serving on Alpha.
“It’s an amazing thing to see,” said Paul. “Blessings flow into the group, causing its members to show Christ’s love to each other. Then the blessings flow outward to the larger church and into the surrounding community.”
Kimberlee sums it up nicely: “That’s how we show Christ’s love. We start by loving each other and go on from there.”
For a list of all community groups and locations, click here.