What is a Learning Community?
Epic Faith is our story within The Story, and a Learning Community is a small community, within the community of faith here at Epic. We chose this title for our small groups because we feel it best describes a fellowship of people dedicated to learning together through a format of Bible and life discussion. It represents our Sunday morning style of learning here at Epic, only on a broader scale with more time dedicated to the sharing of the entire community.
We learn more in community than we do in a classroom. That is why we remember more of what we learned during an interactive discussion then we do when we spend countless hours listening to a speaker, or studying to pass a test. Discussions are remembered long after they end, whereas the words from a speaker answers to a test often seep out of our brain only days after the test results are in. In LC, teaching takes place as a group discusses a chosen topic. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend any of the Learning Communities offered.
LEARNING COMMUNITIES – Don’t do life alone!
True Community – Pastor Jack
• Our efforts to arrange our lives around communal spiritual formation are, at times awkward and pathetic, yet at other times, they are wonderfully forward-leaning and pull us toward God in ways we never anticipated.
• What has pulled us through is our belief that there are wonderful people, pastors, teachers, lay leaders, new Christians, life-long Christians who are not interested in a model program or approach to spirituality, but are searching the stories of others to find permission to pursue their own deeply held, unspoken intuitions about how faith and church could be.
• We need to understand the faith not just as doctrines to be believed but as a way of life to be lived.
• In the 19th century it was believed that the most effective way to deepen a person’s spiritual life was to increase their knowledge about God.
• I’ve become convinced that our misguided belief that life change can come through proper knowledge acquired through education has failed to produce the kind of radical commitment to life in harmony with God in the way of Jesus that we are called to.
• People behaved and still behave as though the spiritual part of a person is a separate component that can be worked on and developed in isolation from the rest of the person. This approach has been refined with great fervor over the last 100 years and in some ways has just recently hit its stride.
• The question that haunts me is not, “Do people like our church?” but “Is there any real formation happening in our church?” Two decades from now, will our efforts at human formation be shown to have contributed to the lives we have led for the past 20 years? Will they have helped us live as blessings to the world, or will we simply be living the kind of self absorbed personal Christian lives that are so common today?
• I truly believe that community is where real spiritual formation happens.
• Rather then seeing Christianity as belief we acquire in a completed form, we ought to enter into it with the understanding that we are at the beginning of a life-long process of discovery and change. Ours is a faith that is lived, from beginning to end.
• I find it’s often the case that people use the word community to refer to those who are most like them. But the story of God from Abraham to Jesus calls us to a deeper understanding of “our neighbor” that embraces those who are not like us at all and those with whom we worship weekly.
• Oddly many Christians find that their fellow congregants play no more crucial a role in their daily lives than the people they walk past in the grocery store. They share a common experience from time to time and receive services from the same organization, but little else. Let’s seek to make community mean something in our Christian context. Let’s look for ways to make our community of faith a place where we become involved in one another’s lives in intimate, meaningful, transformative ways.
• Let’s try to open our lives up in such a way that others do not simply keep us on track, but become actual agents of redemption and change.
• Join a Learning Community and do life together!