Dawn and Robbie Walker care about their neighbors. During weekly get-togethers at the Walkers' home in Lakeland, Florida, they've gotten to know their neighbors' likes and dislikes, spiritual beliefs, and personal stories.
The idea for the regular gathering came from their church. Church of the Highlands (lakelandhighlands.org) emphasizes "small church families," a concept that serves not only to deepen relationships among members, but also to reach the unchurched in a personal manner.
More than just small-group Bible studies, small church families provide an ongoing network of relationships for new and growing Christians.
"There is a reason Jesus' disciples met in homes from the very beginning," explains training pastor Robert Beckman.
Small churches don't start their meeting with a song, nor end with a benediction. These fellowships of 6-10 people may start out with conversation around the dinner table or a backyard barbecue. Laughter and stories are shared as they talk over life's challenges ...1