Small Group Stories

See how God can use intentional relationships with other believers to draw people nearer to Him.

The Haslers' Story

Why is it important to find community in a Small Group and love where you live? In this video, see how God has used both of those things in the lives of a young couple in north Austin.

Laura Lynn's Story

Through Small Groups, we believe God can use intentional relationships with other believers to draw a person nearer to Him. See what it’s like to grow spiritually as a result of biblical community through Laura Lynn’s story below.

Craig & Kerry

Craig Smelser and his wife, Kerry, moved from New Hampshire about eight years ago and immediately became involved with Hill Country Bible Church. They lead a small group and within the past four to five years they have built a solid and consistent group of people that attend regularly and invest in each others lives. As a small group, they felt that they were the worst neighbors and did not truly love others as themselves. They meet people safely and skim the surface or they are out and about in the neighborhood but not readily available. Craig and his small group decided to take the first step and pray for practical personal steps to take following prayer.

They pray that the man across the street will take his headphones out while doing yard work and provide an opportunity for people to approach him or allow him to be aware of people passing and start a conversation. They pray for the man walking his dog at night in order to avoid people will walk his dog during the day and use the dog as a means of attraction for neighbors then transition into intentional conversations. They pray for the man who works in his garage, doing what he loves, to have the door open instead of closed and allow others to enter into an area of his life that he is passionate about in order to start building a relationship. Small groups allow people to influence the small details of each others lives and Craig, as well as his small group, are excited to see God work through prayer and their encounters with their neighbors on this convicting challenge of Love Where You Live.

Brent and Ashley Evans

Brent and Ashley Evans have been attending Hill Country Bible Church for six years and two years ago they began hosting a small group. Most of the neighbors on the Evans street have been there for 20 plus years and in the 6 years they have been living there, no neighborhood events had occurred. Reflecting on this and thinking of how to bring the neighborhood together, the Evans small group decided to partner with another small group in the area and host a block party. They were able to invite families from both streets and were expecting about 15 to 20 people to attend. The block party was a success and had around 100 people that attended, each with food and desserts in hand. Brent said that the small groups were pleased with the turn out but “had no idea there were so many kids in the neighborhood.” With this in mind, the Evans small group has made it a challenge of theirs to host a neighborhood event every month. In November, they will host a Movie Night and project a movie onto their garage door and have all the kids and parents out front. They feel that the challenge of Love Where You Live came at the right time and their subdivision now has a joint purpose and goal that has already changed the atmosphere around their neighborhood.

Louise Gunn & Cindy Ung

After being members of another congregation for almost twenty-three years, the Gunn family decided to begin church shopping and chose to call Hill Country Bible Church their new church home. Louise and Abby decided to go door to door in their neighborhood knocking and inviting the families to participate in Great Adventure. At the end of a few discouraging days of knocking on doors, Louise was about ready to call it to an end. Instead, God told her to go to one more house, so she did. Louise knocked on Jeremy and Cindy Ung’s door. They opened the door and were able to sit and talk with Louise for a while. In their conversation, Cindy told Louise that they had just moved to Texas and had only been in Austin for six weeks. They have no family in the United States, so church family was the closest thing they have had in the past years. Cindy said they had been looking for connections and somewhere to belong, so as a family they decided to try out Hill Country Bible Church. Through Louise knocking on her neighbors’ door, their son getting involved in The Edge, and attending Hill Country, the Ung’s got plugged into a Small Group and now have the community they were searching for upon moving to Austin, Texas. Cindy and her family are thankful and blessed by the love and care of their neighbor. Not only has it provided a great church home for the entire family, a small group community for Jeremy and Cindy, but also a friendship and mentorship between Louise and Cindy.