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[caption id="attachment_96" align="alignright" width="300"]Tree-Rings Each ring of a tree has a story, and each year that story grows outward, affecting the area around the tree.[/caption] In the early church,

Act 2:42-47 (NLT) All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity — all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

At Radius Church, we believe that this wasn’t just some amazing thing that happened. We believe this was an example of how we are supposed to act as a community of believers. Often times we get caught up in our day to day life, just trying to survive another week. We give ourselves an hour for ‘God stuff’ on Sunday morning, and the rest of the week we struggle on our own. What if we could take Sunday morning with us? What if we didn’t have to struggle alone? What if ‘God stuff’ was part of our everyday life? What would that look like? Let’s break down what the early church did as action items.

1. Devote yourself to the teachings of the Bible 2. Fellowship 3. Share meals 4. Pray

Though we might get a piece of these four things on any given Sunday, that isn’t really what the Sunday gathering is for. The Sunday gathering is a time to experience God; to talk to, and hear from our Creator. So how do we take these four things and work them into our week? Radius Homes throughout Pinellas County will offer people the opportunity to devote themselves to the teachings of the bible, fellowship, share meals, and pray in a small community setting. We believe that growing larger enables us to impact more, but as we grow larger we must be intentional about keeping the small community important . In order to allow people who might be lost in the crowd on Sunday the opportunity to really build a relationship with God, and feel His love, we must provide a setting where that can take place. Radius Church is asking its partners to start Radius Homes in neighborhoods all around St. Petersburg, and the surrounding communities. New friends and partners will join in their nearest Radius Home and celebrate the four seasons of being on mission.

The 4 Seasons

1. Up

‘Up time’ at Radius Homes is time spent focused on learning more about our relationship with God. It is a time devoted to the teachings of the Bible. Radius Home groups will spend this time reading from the Bible, completing devotional studies, and building relationships with one another through discussion and understanding of God’s Word.

2. Out

We cannot live out God’s Word without getting out and doing something. Jesus spent most of his ministry out among the people. Likewise, Radius Homes will plan time to get out into the community. This could be feeding/clothing the needy, building homes, community clean-up, tutoring kids, hosting a block party for the Super Bowl, helping a neighbor move, or whatever events/activities that group can come up with to do. We are only limited by our imagination and the amount love in our hearts.

‘Out time’ will give groups the opportunity to build relationships with each other and the community through acts of service.

3. Down

Everybody needs some down time at some point. We don’t expect Radius Home groups to meet all 52 weeks out of the year. Groups will need time on their own. ‘Down time’ will be a time of rest, rejuvenation, and a time to reflect on the group, its direction, and our place within the group.

‘Down time’ could mean that groups don’t meet, or meet to share a meal together, and build relationships through telling stories and laughing together.

4. In

‘In time’ in Radius Homes will be a time if deep reflection as a group, a time of prayer, and a time to really dig deep into helping each other. Imagine having a group of people in your life with whom you could share your struggles with. Imagine if that group did more than say, “I’m sorry” or “I’ll be praying for you” but instead took the time to circle around you, to remind you of all the blessing in your life, to hurt with you, and to pray over you.

‘In time’ at Radius Home will offer groups the opportunity to become a family.

Each Radius Home group will decide in what season they are, and how long they will stay in that season. Radius Church will be there to support each Radius Home and provide resources for them to accomplish their mission. Radius Homes make up the Groups ministry of Radius Church. Groups are represented by tree rings. Each ring of a tree has a story, and each year that story grows outward, affecting the area around the tree. Likewise, Radius Homes will affect the area around each home, providing a much needed source of love in neighborhoods all over the city.