Lifegroup is at the core of who we are as a church. It is a place where we see authentic community come together to live out the purposes God has for our lives. Andre Chapa is a part of the Antioch staff, and we recently sat down with him to hear a little more about how community has impacted him and his family:
How did you get connected to Antioch?
A couple of years ago I felt like God was leading me to more. There came a point in my life where my routine changed, and I had times to just sit still. It was the first time that I was just still in 10 years, and I kept hearing God speak “family.” Even though we were involved in our church, our home life wasn’t consistent and I wasn’t spending enough time with my family. It wasn’t that our home was a wreck, it just wasn’t in order. I felt like God was leading us to more. I had a routine but there was no fruit in the routine. Through hearing about other peoples’ experiences, we decided to check out Antioch.
How has community changed you and your family?
When we started going to Antioch, I began meeting with Vincent Carpenter every week. It was the first time in my 10 years of following Jesus that someone sat down and really just talked with me. When he started letting me in his life, I felt a shift. Hearing someone else and hearing his story was huge for me.
We started visiting Lifegroups and we’ve been in the same Lifegroup for a little over a year now. As far as what Lifegroup means to me, it has been a place where I can be myself. I really never knew who I was and never knew my identity in Christ. I was living like I thought God wanted, but I wasn’t allowing Him to live through me. Being around people who are living out what God has called them to and having people who are willing to let me into their lives has made all the difference for me.
In discipleship the other day we were reading in Corinthians, and Paul says, “By the grace of God, I am who I am.” Hearing that, even again, gives me freedom to be who God made me to be. I have learned that I can be me, and through my passions God is glorified. I didn’t know any of that because I didn’t have fellowship or community to walk with through life.
Community has given us structure and the ability to come together as a family and help each other. My kids are connected to other kids their age. We are all coming together and there is unity in our family. My kids are enjoying their Lifegroups and they have a desire to know God more.
Why should someone get plugged into community?
Lifegroup gives you a setting where you are able to be transparent, and you are able to walk out the Scriptures you’re reading. You are able to be vulnerable and there are people who want to help you walk through whatever you are facing. If you are hungry and you want change, Lifegroup is where it is going to happen. We have all the information and Lifegroup is where we apply it. Lifegroup brings you into a reality where you can live out what God has for you.