Serve event

Find Your Encounter Serving Team

May 1st - June 30th, 2018

Serving is a great way to connect & grow. We have dozens of opportunities: brew coffee, greet guests, rock babies, lead worship, take photos, cook meals, & more!

Below you'll see a brief description of Encounter's serving teams. Take a look and let us know which one(s) you would like to learn more about. We would love for you to join one [or more] of our teams and use your time and talents to make an impact!

GREETING: Create an joy-filled & genuine first impression for guests
HOSPITALITY: Serve delicious treats [like cookies & bagels] to delight guests
BREW CREW: Set up, brew & replenish our complimentary coffee stations
BARISTAS: Prepare & serve complimentary lattes & specialty drinks to make guests feel at home
STARTING POINT: Welcome guests, answer questions & suggest next steps
USHERS: Kindly welcome & escort guests to their seats; collect the offering
EMERGENCY RESPONSE: Protect guests from potential crisis situations

PRODUCTION: Enhance the worship experience with sound, lights, photography & video
WORSHIP: Instrumentalists & vocalists who help us worship God musically

KIDS! (BIRTH - KINDERS): Provide a safe & nourishing space for little ones
KIDS! (1ST-5TH): Create fun opportunities for kids to learn about who God is
18.25: Partner with 18-25 year olds as they establish themselves in Christ

CARE: Bring comfort & cheer to our community via fresh meals, freezer meals, and/or respite care
SMALL GROUPS: Foster an environment for people to grow & belong together for 6-8 gatherings

Young marrieds

Dive In! - Small Group for Married Couples

June 18th - August 13th, 2018

Connect with others for an exciting deeper dive into the Encounter Sunday messages! Group members should attend [or live stream] worship experiences & then we'll gather together for a fun & engaging discussion on topics included in the message. There's no reading or homework - just a chance to connect together & grow to become more like Jesus.

This group is open to young [20s & 30s] &/or newly married couples & meets every other Monday evening in Hudsonville.

Questions? Contact group leaders Sara & Billy Zeinstra via email at

Read through the bible in a year   pc

Read Through the Bible in a Year Group

June 18th - September 17th, 2018

Have you ever thought about committing to read through the whole Bible? This group will provide accountability as we make a habit of reading four chapters of the Bible [about 20min] a day for a whole year independently. We'll be going through the Bible chronologically, which is a little different than the book order in most Bibles.

The group will gather to share what God is showing you twelve times throughout the year, on the 3rd Monday of each month at 7:30PM at the VanEyk's home in Kentwood [5496 W Heathwood Dr SE.]

Questions? Contact group leader Dirk VanEyk at

Spiritual formation   tues mens group

Spiritual Formation - Tuesday Morning Men's Group

June 19th - July 17th, 2018

Don't miss this "come as you are" discussion group, based in the Bible, using insights from various Christian theologians & writers. For the next several weeks we'll be working through the Spiritual Formation Workbook by theology professor, writer, & author James Bryan Smith.

Based upon six major dimensions of the spiritual life found in the life of Christ & Christian tradition: Contemplative: The Prayer-Filled Life; Holiness: The Virtuous Life ; Charismatic: The Spirit-Empowered Life; Social Justice: The Compassionate Life; Evangelical: The Word-Centered Life; & Incarnational: The Sacramental Life -- the Spiritual Formation Workbook provides all the necessary ingredients for a impactful spiritual formation in community.

This group is open to men of all ages & stages & meets every Tuesday morning in the Volunteer Lounge at Encounter.

Questions? Contact group leader Bernie VanderBerg via email at

Thursday men s bible study   pc april2018

Thursday AM Men's Bible Study: Corinthians

June 21st - September 13th, 2018

Men of all ages are invited to gather Thursday mornings at 7AM at Panera Bread [Kalamazoo & M-6 location] to read & discuss a passage of the Bible together.

Beginning April 24th, we'll be studying Paul's letters to the Corinthians. Come when you can, come as you are!

For more information, contact Bob Navis at

Coffee plus for women   summer 2018

Coffee Plus for Women

June 21st - September 13th, 2018

Women of all ages, join us on Thursday mornings at 9:30AM in the Volunteer Lounge at Encounter for a gathering including freshly brewed coffee, impactful devotions, and authentic community.

Questions? Contact Sandy Navis via email at


Alpha @ Encounter

June 21st - August 9th, 2018

Many of us are in a season of investigating what it is we believe & why we believe it. We all crave a space to ask questions like: Who is God? Who is Jesus? What value does the Bible have in my life? How do I pray? These are the big questions that are at the heart of what it means to have a relationship with God! Alpha is the perfect space to learn more about the Christian faith over a great meal with friends. This group is open to everyone, regardless of age, stage, or beliefs & will meet every Thursday evening at Encounter.

Three awesome components of each session:

  • Good Food - At the heart of every session is the opportunity to connect. With that in mind, each Alpha kicks of with a tasty meal together.

  • Alpha Talk - Every week we listen to a talk on a theme that is central to the Christian faith. These videos are fun & engaging (think TED talks), & they create the framework for the dialogue that follows.

  • Discussion - No question is out of bounds & you’re free to discuss as much or as little as you wish. Everyone is welcome to contribute to the conversation. We don’t assume any particular belief or background knowledge in Christianity.

Questions? Contact any of the group leaders: Caroline Sterr or Jenna Veldboom or Pete Marlow


The Prodigal God Small Group

June 24th - September 2nd, 2018

$0 - $10

In this six-session study Bible study, pastor & bestselling author Tim Keller uses one of Jesus’ best-loved parables – the Prodigal Son – to illustrate the depth of God’s love & how his grace extends into some very unexpected places.

Taking you beyond the traditional focus on the wayward younger son, Keller helps you glean insights from each of the characters in Jesus' parable: the irreligious younger son, the moralistic elder son, & the Father who lavishes his love on both. Through this study you'll explore questions for group discussion & personal reflection that will help you experience the truths of Jesus' parable in your own life.

This group is open to people of any age & life stage & will meet every other Sunday evening in Gaines Township [near Kentwood.]

Questions? Contact group leaders Dan & Elizabeth Wierenga via email at

M3   summer 2018

m3 [Men's Monday Morning] Group

June 25th - September 10th, 2018

The Men's Monday Morning [M3] Group meets in the Encounter Cafe each Monday at 6:15AM.

Guys of all ages gather for coffee & informal discussion of the Sunday message content from the day before. Didn't have a chance to attend a worship experience in person? You can always listen online here.

For more information, contact Bob Alsum via email or cell (616) 218-2634.

The quest

The Quest - Small Group for Women

June 25th - September 3rd, 2018

$0 - $17

Curiosity is hardwired in humanity. We have this innate need to question & seek after what we don’t know or understand.

In this incredible 6-session Bible study by Beth Moore, we'll delve into Scripture to explore how God created us to seek after Him—a God who desires to be found & known. In this lifelong quest of faith, learn to develop your intimacy with Him & embrace the adventure that comes with living a life for God.

This group is open to women of all ages & stages & will meet every other Monday evening in the Kentwood area.

Questions? Contact leader Jes TenBrink via email at

Group serve pantry

Monthly Serve Night @ The Pantry

June 28th - July 26th, 2018

You can love where we live by serving at our community partner organization, The Pantry, with other people from Encounter!

Join us and gather at The Pantry [4150 Kalamazoo Ave SE] on the fourth Thursday of the month from 5:50 - 8PM.

You can serve in any of the follow roles:

  • Hospitality [1 person]: initial check-in, assigning of numbers [must be at the Pantry by 5:15PM]
  • In-take [2 people]: recording information on the computer
  • Shopping [4-5 people]: assisting people in selecting their food
  • Restocking/Repackaging: Keep things tidy and stocked as needed

Questions? Contact Bob Navis via email

Veterans group   pc

Small Group for Veterans

June 28th - September 6th, 2018

Veterans of all ages and life stages, as well as military family members, are invited to connect every other Thursday evening at 1900 [7PM] in the Volunteer Lounge at Encounter to discuss life experiences and veteran's issues.

Everything discussed in the group is confidential. Often times only another veteran, or a close family member of a veteran, can relate to and understand what someone else has to share. We seek to provide one another with hope, encouragement, and camaraderie as we grow to become more like Jesus.

Questions? Contact group leader Aaron Cook at

Dad s study of matthew

The Book of Matthew - Small Group for Dads

June 28th - July 26th, 2018

While each of the gospel accounts are highly impactful, Matthew’s account provides a unique window through which we see the glory of Christ. Join us as we gather for eight sessions & together discover new & applicable insights from the book of Matthew!

This group is open to dads of all ages & will meet every Thursday in the Cafe at Encounter.

Questions? Contact leader Joel Myers via email at

Hang at horrocks   pc

Hang at Horrocks

July 1st - December 2nd, 2018

Looking to meet others from Encounter, ask questions, or maybe discuss the Sunday message? Join us on the first Sunday of each month following the second worship experience at Horrocks, located at 4455 Breton Rd SE, in Kentwood.

This is a great opportunity to meet other people who attend Encounter for casual conversation over a free cup of coffee or lunch, if you wish. Come when you can and enjoy the casual atmosphere where you can ask questions and get to know more about our community.

Questions? Contact Jane & Jim Langeweg at

Book club pc

Monthly Book Club

July 10th - September 4th, 2018

Are you a reader or looking to become more of one?

Everyone's invited to check out the Book Club that will gather monthly on the first Tuesday at 7PM at Encounter to discuss a book we have read over the past month. Anyone that is interested in reading intriguing books and discussing them is welcome...invite a friend!

Email Kathy Boldenow at with any questions or for more info.

Please note: for the month of July we'll be reading Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore and we'll gather on Tuesday, July 10 [due to Independence Day the week prior.]

Game night   summer 2018 planning center

Game Night

July 11th - August 8th, 2018

Game Night is BACK in the Upper Lobby at Encounter on the second Wednesday of the month throughout the summer. This will be a great time to connect and do life together!

We'll provide snacks - you bring your favorite games and a friend or two to join in the fun!

Yfc pool party   pc

Young Families Connect Pool Party

July 22nd, 2018

Families with children ages infant - 5th graders: Join us for the Young Families Connect Pool Party on Sunday, July 22 from 4-7PM at Tim & Jill Harris' home in Grand Rapids.

We will provide hotdogs & drinks. There will be lawn games, fun & the chance to connect with other young families. Don't miss out this great opportunity to do life together!

Each family should bring:

  • A side dish to pass
  • Swim suits
  • Towels

Questions? Email Elyse Gilbert at for more information.