Evolving Community Groups

A case study of Central Peninsula Church, which began as a house church, tracking its growth and lessons learned.

Sunday worship attendance is approximately 600 adults. There are 28 Community Groups with 257 adult members.


The origins of Central Peninsula Church trace back to 1965 when six Palo Alto families commuting to Peninsula Bible Church desired to have a ministry closer to home. They were encouraged by Ray Stedman and the church leadership to meet together as a home Bible study on Sunday nights. With assistance from PBC's staff, the group grew and in 1967 called a pastor and began holding Sunday morning services.

They met in numerous locations until they began to build at their permanent location in Foster City in the early 1970s. Those early years cemented one of CPC's values that the church does not consist of a building but of people. The church is located on a two plus acre site in a suburban area on the peninsula south of San Francisco. It is influenced by the pace of life and economics of nearby "Silicon Valley". Construction of a 600-seat auditorium was completed in the fall of 2001 and marks the final facility addition permitted at the site.

CPC's Purpose Statement is "To make disciples of Christ who worship God's person, obey God's Word, love God's people and share God's grace". It is led by a group of elders and has chosen not to establish a formal membership. Instead, it recognizes a personal relationship with Christ (inclusion in His "universal" church) and "commitment" to CPC's local family of believers, to be in harmony with the practice of the early church.

CPC's focus and style of ministry is guided by its six Core Values: (1) "Relevant expository teaching of the Scripture…", (2) "Commitment to a small group…", (3) "The ministry of the church is to be carried out by all believers…", ...

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