Community Groups and Beta Groups
The most important way to get plugged into the life of Redeemer is to become involved in a Community Group. These are places to both cultivate a relationship with God and friendships with others. We offer regular Community Groups, Questioning Christianity Groups for those who are skeptical or curious about Christianity, and Beta Groups, which are designed for those who want to try a group out with a short-term commitment.
If you want to learn more about how you can lead a group, please select the congregation you attend: Downtown, East Side or West Side. Learn more or sign up for our New Leader Basics Training. Or if you are currently a leader, see our leader resources.
Community Groups are a place to cultivate a relationship with God and friendships with others. It is within these small communities that men and women can build personal relationships and practice applying the gospel to their lives. Each group expects to experience Jesus Christ in its midst, enabling participants to be transformed through mutual ministry and to experience life in the family of God.
Composed of 6 to 12 people, groups meet in homes and offices throughout the city. All groups are led by trained lay leaders from the congregation who receive continued oversight and support from pastoral staff. Groups generally meet two to four times a month for worship, Bible study, fellowship and prayer. Many groups also participate in monthly service projects or social events in place of one regular meeting.
These groups provide sanctuary from the pressures and anxieties of life in the city and facilitate the formation of new friendships. Community Groups are places where we can be revitalized and strengthened as we seek to reflect the love of Jesus Christ to our fellow New Yorkers. As God made us for community, we need others to help us apply the gospel to our lives. Our hope is that everyone who attends our church will be involved in a Community Group.
We have many groups that you are welcome to join at any time of the year. Find a group near you.
We invite you to “beta test” community life by joining a Beta Group. Beta Groups are seven-week Community Groups that start in late September and are designed especially for those who are new to our church, new to Community Groups, or interested in exploring Christianity. Beta Groups feature the following:
- New members: There is no need to be nervous about your first meeting! Everyone will be new to the group.
- Community life: It is easy to feel lost in a bustling city and disconnected in a large church. As a member of a Beta Group, you will be part of a smaller community, allowing you to build friendships with a group of people who grow to know and care about each other.
- Faith exploration: Have you ever had questions about the Christian faith or wondered about its relevance? In specialized Beta Groups called Questioning Christianity Groups, you can process these questions with like-minded people and learn how the claims of Christianity relate to everyday living.
What is the difference between a Beta Group and a Community Group?
Community Groups (CGs) are ongoing groups that tend to have a more established core membership but still welcome newcomers year-round. Beta Groups are new, short-term CGs that ask their members to make a seven-week commitment, and most, if not all, members will be new to each other. Beta Groups begin each year in late September. Both Betas and CGs engage with the same study curriculum.
There are so many group choices. How should I go about deciding on one?
Start by choosing your congregation. At the top of the find a group map, filter by location, time and type of group. Regular group attendance is important and beneficial for community, so try to find a group that is convenient for you. If you need further guidance, contact [email protected].
Can I visit a few different groups before deciding on one?
Yes, we understand that you may want to visit more than one group before deciding on the best one for you. We do recommend that you visit a group more than once before making a decision.
Can I be a regular group member of more than one group at a time?
Yes, you are welcome to be member of more than one group, but we have found that with the typical New Yorker’s schedule, it is often difficult to participate fully in the life of more than one group at a time.
How can I find a group with people in the same work field as me?
We do not have CGs for specific work fields. If you would like to meet people in your industry, consider participating in Center for Faith & Work’s City Rhythms.
How can I start my own group?
If you are already a member of a CG, talk to your group leader about your interest in co-leading your group or in starting a new group. If you are interested in starting a new group, please contact [email protected]. All CG leaders are required to attend New Leader Basics Training before leading. See more on leading a group for the congregation with which you are affiliated: Downtown, East Side or West Side.
If I haven’t heard back from a group that I contacted, what should I do?
Please contact [email protected]. While our leaders do their best to contact you in a timely manner, things happen. If you have not heard back after a week, we will be happy to help contact the leader for you.
Am I allowed to join a group that is affiliated with a different congregation than mine?
While you are free to join any CG that is convenient for you, we highly recommend joining a CG that is affiliated with your congregation. Instead of seeing the members of your group just once a week at CG, you will see them again at church, making a large church feel smaller.