Kelly and Aaron Griffin know the importance of a small group community—they’ve seen it firsthand in their three years as members of The Summit Church. But they’ve never been more grateful for it than after having a child during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When they began attending the Summit in 2017, Kelly was seven months pregnant with their first son, Brayden. Right away, Kelly expressed interest in serving in Summit Kids and was connected to Julie, a staff member who invested in her and trained her to be a leader when she was able to start serving after maternity leave.
But Julie didn’t stop there. She invited Kelly and Aaron into her small group, connecting them to others at the church who would become their foundation of support throughout the years, as life changed and challenges arose.
Now a mom to two boys, Kelly looks back on her recent pregnancy with their son, Sawyer, grateful for the support and resources she received from her Summit community, knowing that this postpartum experience, while difficult, has been fundamentally different than before.
“Having members from small group, Summit Kids, and the women's summer book club send encouraging words, checking in on us, and coming over to spend time during this hard season has made these days easier to get through,” Kelly says.
Kelly has experienced perinatal anxiety since Sawyer’s recent birth, and having their Summit community around them for support and encouragement has made all the difference.
“I realize now that I had this anxiety with my first son but suffered through that season without asking for help,” Kelly says.
Now, after developing deep bonds with her small group and others, Kelly knows the importance of being connected to others who can speak into her personal struggles, like her small group coach, who connected her to postpartum support groups.
“While I know this shows the importance of being connected by serving and participating in a small group, I think it truly shows God's vision of the church at work and coming around those that need the support and community,” Kelly says. “I cannot imagine how much harder this all would be without the Summit family praying and showing up day in and day out for our family. I know that this year is a challenging one for all of us, given the various issues happening, and through this, I can still see God at work in our church and community.”
Kelly shares her story so that others can be encouraged to take their next step with the Summit. “I have never felt more connected to a church body than I have with Summit, even though it is by far the largest church of which I have been a part,” she adds.
It all started from a step of faith and a single relationship. Thanks to Julie, the Griffins are not only supported by others, but they’re ready to step in as the body of Christ for others in need.
Even during this season affected by COVID-19, no one has to be alone. Even one connection can have a lasting effect on your life! Get started by joining a small group or a home gathering to find gospel community near you!