One of the greatest strengths of the ATCC is the family-like closeness of the members. And this doesn't just happen by chance. The church builds strong interpersonal bonds because the members have regular times of interaction..
Our Sunday church gatherings include times of group discussion. After the message, participants split into groups of 5 or so people and share what they're learning. People open up, and it's a wonderful way to get to know one another.
Then, there are midweek house church meetings. Set in people's homes, or occasionally at a restaurant or coffee shop, these get togethers keep members connected and encouraged. They're an oasis of fellowship amid busy and draining days.
The midweek participants deepen their spiritual knowledge together. The Columbus group has been studying the books of Daniel and Esther. The singles and Auburn campus house church meeting at Mike and Marge's house have been exploring controversial issues. The married/mature group has been looking at connections between the Old and New Testament, and having shepherding training with Jack Frederick once a month.
Kenonia Battle described what house church means to her, "It's my filling station. I love the fellowship that helps me set an example for my kids. I want to become more than just another person taking up space in church. I want to learn how to make a difference and help more people know Jesus."
Many ATCC members also meet in discipling groups, and these build a true sisterhood/brotherhood. The single women meet every other week. The single brothers also meet regularly. The campus ministry has d groups. There's a leadership group going through the "Master Plan of Evangelism." Some of the men meet for a "Mighty Men of God" group.
Besides this, there are the campus Bible talks and devotionals. Others, like the Montgomery group, like to gather for informal fellowship times.
Finally, a good number of the ATCC members are committed to one-on-one times with one another. This is where some of the deepest ties are forged, and where spiritual victories are won. Taylor Wilson told how her discipling times help her focus her life on God and Jesus. "It's so easy to get distracted with school. [My discipling partner] points me back to what's important, and helps me healthily deal with the issues I face with scripture and prayer."
Let's not take our brotherhood for granted! It's the result of many who make sacrifices. How fortunate we are to have members who are devoted to one another! May this inspire those of us who have gotten distracted to be that friend who sticks closer than a brother, and to make a renewed effort to love our brothers and sisters as Christ loves us. (Prov. 18:24 , John 13:34)
"I believe midweek and discipling groups are great outlets and opportunities to interact with the body in a more focused and spiritual way," said Devantia Jordan. "It gives us a setting to get open, discuss topics or offer input and advice to each other, allowing us to work together as we share in the walk of Christ."
"To put it simple, you really can't be a lone ranger Christian," said Bryce Outten. "That's not how God intended it to be. It's comforting to be around people who care and are fighting the same fight!!"
Next Sunday, Nov. 23, will be our Thanksgiving Meal Fellowship. We'll have a great pot luck, and also an opportunity for members to share what God has done for them in the past year. We look forward to this time of counting our blessings together!
On Saturday, Dec. 7 at 1 PM, we will go to encourage the residents of the Magnolia Haven Nursing Home in Tuskegee with a Christmas carol sing along, and gifts of warm socks and hats. Bring your donation of socks and/or hats this Sunday to Kenonia Battle.
Below: Scenes from Sunday's Gathering, the lunch for Shanitique, and the married/mature midweek.
Fri. Nov. 15 -- Outdoor Concert and Dinner at University Station Fri. Nov. 15-- Campus devo Sun. Nov. 17-- Worship at VFW, 10 AM Sun. Nov. 24 -- Thanksgiving Fellowship Meal Sat. Dec. 7 -- Service Project at Magnolia Haven Nursing Home