About Community Groups
Community Groups are a key way to build significant Christian relationships and grow closer to God at South Tampa Fellowship. Groups meet weekly to share, study the Bible and support one another. Most of our groups are sermon-based, discussing the message from the previous Sunday. There are also groups targeting specific needs including life skills and support groups.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS A COMMUNITY GROUP?
A Community Group is a home fellowship made up of 10-16 people who meet weekly to share, study and support one another. A trained leader and host lead each group. An average meeting lasts for an hour and a half, followed by light refreshments.
HOW DO I CHOOSE A GROUP?
We strongly recommend you choose a group based on life stage rather than location. We’ve found that groups do best when members share a common life stage with their leaders, hosts, and other group members. In the end, you’ll find it’s worth the drive! Please only sign up for one group.
If you have any questions (especially if you are new to South Tampa Fellowship), please don’t hesitate to call the church, and we will gladly assist you.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE COMMUNITY GROUPS?
Here at STF, Community Groups are the hub of our ministry. They’re the place where the real ministry of the church takes place as we study God’s Word, while supporting and sharing our lives with one another. We believe that meeting together on a regular basis is time well spent.
WHEN AND WHERE DO THEY MEET?
Community Groups meet on various nights of the week in homes throughout Tampa and Davis Island. Most evening groups meet 6-8pm. The daytime groups meeting times vary.
HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?
Each Community Group session lasts 9 to 11 weeks. At the end of each session, you will have the choice of staying in the same group, trying a new group or even taking a break. Most groups stay together throughout the entire year. Most Community Groups do not meet June through August.
WHAT IS THE COMMITMENT?
Joining a Community Group requires a 9 to 11 week commitment to attend weekly meetings and do the homework ahead of time. Obviously, allowances are made for sickness, vacation, work conflicts and other special events, but not much more. This commitment is the key to a strong Community Group. You have the first three weeks to attend the group to make sure it’s a good fit for you.
WHAT WILL WE STUDY?
Most of the studies are based on the previous weekend’s message. These “sermon-based” Community Groups are built on what we call a “Lecture-Lab” model.
Imagine the weekend message as a lecture on Christian living, and the Community Group as a lab where you get to roll up your sleeves and discuss how the weekend’s message works in real life. Each week there will be a series of Bible passages and questions available on our website to study before the meeting. It will usually take 20 to 40 minutes per week to complete the study guide.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
The cost of Community Groups is the cost of commitment. During the first meeting, each group will complete a “covenant” together. This simple form helps each group discuss their priorities and commitment. Part of that commitment is the promise to attend each week and complete the homework and attend the quarterly social. You have the first three weeks to decide if your group is a good fit for you.
When you join a Community Group, you’re promising to attend and be prepared each week. It’s this commitment that makes Community Groups work. We realize it’s a big commitment, but it only lasts for 9 – 11 weeks. At the end of each quarter, you have the choice of recommitting for another quarter, trying a new group, or taking a break from Community Groups altogether.
WHAT ABOUT CHILDCARE?
Community Groups are for adults only. (Exceptions can be made for nursing newborns, up to six months.) We leave it up to each family to work out their own child care. Sometimes it works best for families to share a sitter or to swap child care with another family whose Community Group meets on a different evening. We have Awana available at the Ballast Point campus on Wednesday nights and many groups meet at this time due to the available childcare.
ARE THERE GROUPS FOR TEENAGERS?
Yes, our High School and Jr. High ministries both offer small groups for students. Visit the STF Yth page to register.