EXT. Groups Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are (EXT.) Groups?
A: Extension (EXT.) Groups are small gatherings of the Body of Christ in the neighborhoods where we live. Sunday begins our week of worship and “extends” into the week for the purpose of accomplishing the work of the church. The work of the church consists of loving the household of faith, fellowship, praise to God, community service and evangelism.
Q: What is so different about these groups from traditional small group ministry?
A: There is no profound difference, but simply Biblical ministry that captures the very best of what the Church is to be under Jesus’ headship. Some of the things we see as vitally important are:
1. The attitude in which we approach these groups, not coming as consumers, but with a determined willingness to love and serve Christ’s Bride.
2. The openness of the group to welcome those who don’t believe into the community of believers with the hope that the Holy Spirit will bring them to saving knowledge.
3. Not segregating the Body of Christ by age. We want all age groups present. There are other times for adult Bible studies, or seminars specifically for women or men, or youth group, but we want our EXT Groups to be a time when the whole Body of Christ is together.
4. The format of the meeting will allow for fellowship and sincere focus on God through praise, prayer, and the power of Scripture.
5. The formation of unity, based solely on a love for Jesus and his kingdom. Christians may find common ground in politics, vocation, education, economics, race, and culture, but these things should never be the unifying factor for Christians. Sadly, often it is the case that politics or other interests becomes the unifying factor. If Jesus is not the unifying factor of our church and Christian relationships, then our unity is built on sinking sand.
Q: May my EXT. Group replace Sunday worship?
A: No. It is important that Sunday worship be made a priority. Worship is where we experience corporate worship, the preaching of the word, and participation in the Sacraments. The EXT. Group is an extension of the church (Body of Christ) and flows from Sunday worship into the week.
Q: May I go to any (EXT.) Group I want?
A: Yes and no. We would like for people to choose a group that is in proximity to where they live.
Q: How long will (EXT.) Group meetings last?
A: 2 hours. A typical format would be:
45 minutes Fellowship (Dinner / Announcements / “Catching Up”)
30 minutes – Prayer, Scripture Reading, Singing
45 minutes – Discussion
Q: Should I leave my children at home for EXT. Group?
A: No. We want the children of our families to be seen and included, and for them to interact with the Body of Christ, not to be isolated from it with someone watching them in another room. The EXT. Group is a gathering of the Body of Christ and our covenant children are a part of that body. Children need to be among the people of God and see adult Christians model Christianity by praying, reading Scripture, praising God, and discussing God’s word.
Q: Should I look for a group that is specific to my age?
A: No. We are not interested in making our (EXT.) Groups age specific. We do not believe this best represents the Body of Christ and prohibits the spiritual interaction between generations. Young families need elders, and those who are older should seek to invest in the next generation. We would like for you to choose a group in your area where you can love and serve the people in that group regardless of age.
Q: Should I attend an EXT. Group so I can be cared for?
A: No and yes. You should join an EXT. Group to first serve and love the Body of Christ. We need to challenge ourselves not to be self-absorbed consumers. If the members of Christ’s church dedicate themselves to loving God and loving people, then everyone will be cared for. If we enter Christianity to be served first rather than served last, then when we face trial there will be no unity in Christ to hold us together.
Q: In addition to EXT. Groups what is available for children and youth?
A: Children’s Church meets during the sermon on Sunday mornings. High school and middle school youth group meet on Sunday evenings. Please visit the student ministry section for complete information about RPC youth group.
If you are a parent and would like a self-directed study for your children that allows you to instruct them as to what we believe God's word teaches us then contact the office and we'll get you started.