Connecting with the local community of believers in Christ sustains life change, fosters accountability, and is essential to spiritual growth. Small Groups are the family in First Family Church. This is the primary avenue for a deeper connection to this local body. It is in a Small Group that you form the meaningful relationships needed during times of celebration and crisis, as well as the accountability necessary for sustained life change. In addition, participating in a Small Group is one of the best tools for outreach and evangelism. At the bottom of the page, you'll find helpful Small Groups FAQs. If you have any questions or need help finding a group, contact Discipleship Pastor Travis Walker.
Small Groups FAQ
A Small Group is a home fellowship made up of 8-12 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.
Small Groups meet on various nights of the week in homes throughout the Ankeny/Des Moines area.
Small Groups officially start in September and go through May. They meet every week, while taking various breaks for holidays. At the end of May many of our Small Groups continue to meet throughout the summer.
Most of the studies are based on the previous weekend’s message. Small Groups are built on what we call a “Lecture-Lab” model. Imagine the weekend message as a lecture on Christian living based on the Word of God, and the Small Group as a lab where you get to roll up your sleeves and discuss how the weekend’s message works in real life.
Few things in life are free, and Small Groups are no exception! The cost of Small Groups is the cost of commitment. When you join a Small Group, you’re promising to attend and be prepared each week. It’s this commitment that makes Small Groups work.
Small Groups are for adults only. (Exceptions can be made for nursing newborns, up to six months.) We leave it up to each Small Group to work out their own childcare. Many Small Groups hire a high school or college student to watch the kids in another portion of the home during the group session. Those with kids share the cost of this. Sometimes it works best for families to share a sitter or to swap childcare with another family whose Small Group meets on a different evening.
When selecting a group, we strongly recommend you choose a group based on its leader-host team and station-in-life, rather than its location. Over the years, we’ve found that groups do best when members share a common station-in-life and other interests with their leaders, hosts, and other group members. In the end, you’ll find it’s worth the drive!
Our groups are divided in the following Station-in-Life groupings: College-age Singles, Singles, Engaged/Young Marrieds, Families with Pre-School, Families with Elementary, Families with Teens, Empty Nesters, Retired. Any Adult. Remember, these Station-in-Life groupings are intentionally kept fuzzy and are meant to help you self-select an appropriate group for you. They are not intended to box you in.
If you have any questions (especially if you are new to First Family Church), please don’t hesitate to call the church or stop by the Connect Center on a Sunday morning, and we will gladly assist you.
Before each Small Group quarter begins, there are three ways to sign up for a group – online, at our weekend services, or by calling the church office during the week before each of our Small Group Sessions. During the weekend services, Small Group leaders are available at the Connect Center to help you choose a group and answer any questions. There are two sign-up weekends before the beginning of our Fall Quarter in September, but folks are free to join a Small Group at any time.
Yes, our High School and Middle School ministries both offer small groups for students. Our High School ministry offers small groups available for freshman through seniors. The Junior High ministry offers small groups available for 6th-8th grade students. Although these groups are not included on this website, they are very important to our church. For more information about Middle School or High School groups, please contact our Student Ministry Office at 515-965-8300, or email our Youth Director, Jake Walton.