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Stronger Together

A few years ago, my husband and I were invited to join a new small group with a specific purpose—to live missionally in our neighborhood. We didn’t know the others in the group, but we were excited about this singular focus—to share the love of Jesus with those around us.

Here at Lake, we’ve begun using the words “Gather, Grow, Go,” to describe what we do in

small groups. Most of the groups I had been a part of before this were pretty good at gathering together—building community and loving one another in everyday life. And we were pretty good at growing in our relationships with God. But most of the groups I’d been a part of didn’t do a lot of going—we didn’t see our group as a place to share the love of God with our neighbors.

All of that changed when Josh and I joined this particular small group. We read a book by Hugh Halter called The Tangible Kingdom and began to think about how we might invite our neighbors to join this small community. We committed to having a neighborhood barbeque once a month. With our babies in tow, we grilled hot dogs and offered a community space to our neighbors. It was sometimes awkward, sometimes uncomfortable . . . but we also got to see how the Lord was already at work in this neighborhood, wooing His people to Himself.

Our little group eventually disbanded as people moved away or had too many babies to count.

But the group left its mark on all of us and taught us another way of being in community. By focusing on mission, we grew stronger as a group and as followers of Jesus. We found our people, and God used us together in His Kingdom work.

Small Groups Fall Launch Starts Sept. 18, 2022

Join us this month as we are launching 6-week short-term small groups, both online and in person. We’ll dive into God’s Word, following along with Pastor Mathew’s sermon series that journeys from Exodus to Deuteronomy in "Following the Cloud." Questions? Contact Pastor Annie Neufeld at or 626.817.4876. Please register online at