Stories About Groups
At The Tree, we believe that purposed Christian relationships are vital to spiritual growth. That is why we offer Connect Groups. Connect Groups are small groups of adults who meet regularly to care for one another, do ministry together, and encourage one another to be more like Christ in every area of their lives.
If you desire to grow in your relationship with Jesus and connect relationally with people who desire the same purposed living, a Connect Group is the ideal environment.
Connect Groups are offered three times a year – fall, winter, and spring. They take a break for the summer months. The majority of our groups are sermon-based, discussing the previous weekend’s message.
In order to provide environments for everyone to connect and grow, we offer three types of groups:
Check out the Frequently Asked Questions tab for more information.
Please contact us if you have any questions about Connect Groups.
We host an event called Intro to Connect Groups. Connect Groups are the environment where people experience the best community and care, where people can connect and grow. That’s why we are hosting Intro to Connect Groups, an event where you can hear what Connect Groups are all about, be introduced to the leaders of the groups that you can sign-up for, and meet face-to-face with others who are looking to get connected as well.
From the time you show up to the time you leave, there will be a team of staff and volunteers to walk you through every step of the process. Intro to Connect Groups is held the Sunday before the first week of group sign-ups.
Purposed relationships for purposed living.
Watch the events page for the next Intro To Connect Group Event!
Below you will find some frequently asked questions about Groups here at the Tree.
A Connect Group is a small group of about 6-15 adults who meet regularly to care for one another, do ministry together and help and encourage one another to strive to be more like Christ in every area of their lives.
At The Tree, we believe that becoming disciples of Jesus Christ is the calling of every person and that we are all designed by God to be in purposed relationships. For the reason we offer Connect Groups as our primary tool for encouraging growth and community. Connect Groups are so important that we aim to have 75% of our adults involved in groups on a regular basis.
Connect Groups meet in homes and at the church throughout the week on various days, times, and locations in and around the Lancaster area.
At The Tree, we have both short-term and long-term Connect Groups. Short-term Connect Groups meet for a designated period of time (typically 6-8 weeks long) and are commonly tied to a short-term study or an all-church event. Long-term Connect Groups typically stay together for the entire group semester or group season. Our full season includes two 9-12 week semesters. The first semester is from September through November and the second semester is from January through April. Connect Groups do not meet from May through August. A third group semester from April - June will be available in the near future.
The majority of the time, we use what is called a “sermon-based” group model, which simply means that all of our groups will have curriculum and discussions that are based on the previous weekend’s sermon. We may occasionally break from that model during a designated season so that the group can choose a study/focus that may be more specific to the needs in their group.
This model enhances the effectiveness of the large group worship experience by building a discussion around application of the weekly message. Imagine this as a “lecture-lab” style that encourages people to personalize their insights from the message (lecture), get feedback from group members, and discover how Scripture works out in real life (lab). By making the sermon text the core content for spiritual growth, the discipleship of individuals is unified under a single theme, relationships become much more significant, and the group accountability promotes personal application.
Joining a long-term Connect Group requires a 9-12 (6 -8 for short-term groups) week commitment to attend regular meetings. Obviously, allowances are made for sickness, vacation, work conflicts and other special events, but not much more. This commitment is the key to strong relationships and healthy groups. You have the first three weeks to attend the group to make sure it's a good fit for you.
Connect Groups are for adults only. (Exceptions can be made for nursing newborns, up to six months). The Tree does offer free childcare Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights throughout the group season. Groups and families who are unable to utilize the childcare due to location and/or meeting on a night without childcare at the church are responsible to plan their own childcare.
Besides the cost of commitment, Connect Groups are completely free to attend. Each group has different systems in place to provide refreshments, childcare, etc., but those will be established by the entire group and are not required upfront to join a group.
Before each Connect Group semester begins, there are two ways to sign-up for a group (online or at our weekend services). During the weekend services, there will be a team available at Connection Central to help you choose a group and answer any questions. There are three sign-up weekends before the beginning of our Fall semester in September, and two sign-up weekends before our Winter semester in January. You can also attend Next Step or an Intro to Connect Groups to hear more about group life at The Tree and get an opportunity to sign-up then and there for any available groups.
Next Step is an opportunity for individuals to learn more about The Tree and discover what their next step is in getting connected. Learn about the ministries of The Tree, ask questions and learn what ways you can get connected with others. Intro to Connect Groups is held the Sunday before the first week of group sign-ups and is an event where you can hear what Connect Groups are all about, be introduced to leaders of the groups that you can sign-up for and meet face-to-face with others who are looking to get connected as well.
We do not offer Connect Groups for children and youth; however, each of the individual ministries implement some form of small groups within their environments. For instance, each child is broken down into smaller groups by age to review and discuss, with a leader and their peers, what they heard in the message portion of their service. This method introduces the children and youth to the benefits of small groups so that when they become adults, it will just be a natural transition to join an adult small group.
As God continues to bring new people to The Tree, we want them to experience the blessing that Connect Groups provide. For that reason, we are continually creating new groups, and this naturally means we need individuals to step forward and lead these groups. At The Tree, we believe that leadership is both a calling and a process, and there are multiple ways in which someone can become a group leader, from staff and leader recommendation, a personal sense of call or group connections events. Furthermore, we also have a heart for leadership development so if you are not quite ready to lead here and now but are interested in potentially leading in the future, we have processes in place to assist you in growing in the area of leadership. For more information please contact Brandon Leitnaker at: 1-833-968-7522 or .