Life Group Coordinators - Jeff & Dawn Shrull
Life Groups is a small group ministry that encourages individuals and families to come together in a host home and share with one another the love of God. During an evening together - a Life Group may share a meal with one another, hold a discussion over a biblical topic, fellowship with one another, and also be encouraged by kids/teens participating in the group discussion or by leading a song, a prayer, or reading scripture. Life Groups are sure to help us grow in our community. If you are interested in a Life Group, please contact one the group leaders:
Life Group (Group Leaders/Host):
Mike & Brenda Harris David & Betty Jane Pedigo Jerry & Brandy Jernigan
Steven & Nisha Kirby Eli Hurt & Megan DeVore Steve & Janet McCarley
Brian & Melissa Bilyeu Nick & Mary Patton Chandler
Frank Cardwell (Life Group @ the Building)
Life Groups = SHARE!
Acts 2:42 “And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
S: Serve others. Time spent together makes us more apt to help and be helped as our needs arise.
H: Healing spiritually through sharing our life stories and lives with each other.
A: Applying the word of God in our lives together.
R: Relationship building / deepening as we spend more time together
E: Evangelizing comes easier when we build confidence in our faith in a group setting!
How can Life Groups help the church at Franklin?
Discipleship - Small groups provide opportunities for believers to learn from each other as they apply the gospel within the intimacy of close relationships. “Who is Jesus?” is critical to hear from the pulpit. But we also need friends to help us wrestle through that question face to face. We need people who are willing to get to know us so they can help us more faithfully walk with Christ (Remember Apollos being helped by Priscilla and Aquilla? Acts 18:24–26).
Study - Some Christian groups meet to discuss and apply Scripture. Of course, there are pitfalls to group Bible study (Misunderstandings? Disagreements? Surely not !!!) but these can be prevented by everyone agreeing up front that no matter the topic, we gather as Christians in love, and we leave as Christians in love. But by discussing and applying Scripture together, members can learn to understand not only the Bible, but also each other, so that each will know better how to love the other. The combination of interesting questions, solid applications, and eager learners, all exchanging ideas together, can be powerful.
Curiosity - When small group leaders cultivate an environment of openness and trust, group members are encouraged to ask questions they might not ask elsewhere. “I heard Steve use the word ‘justification’ today - What does it mean?”, or “I was talking to a person who believes something totally different – Can we discuss that issue next week?” There are no questions that a loving small group can’t hash out – and no shame in asking.
Accountability - When we think about church accountability, we are right to think about elders (Titus 1:5–9). But elders should first equip God’s people to work out their problems together. Every member should encourage and gently urge their brothers and sisters to better follow the Lord (Matt. 18:15–20; Gal. 6:1–2). But how can we exhort others to “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3) if we rarely witness them practice the faith outside of corporate worship?
Shepherding - If small groups can help believers assist each other, they can also help elders shepherd their flocks with greater familiarity and empathy. Model-elder Paul “lived among” the believers at Asia (Acts 20:18) so that he knew how to proclaim what was helpful from house to house (v. 20). If we as members feel that our elders do not know us well enough to help us through the tears and trials of life, small groups can help close the shepherding gap.
Evangelism - If we truly believe in the power of grace—and that God works his grace through the official proclamation of the gospel and the administration of the Lord’s Supper—then we should want the “uninformed” and “unbelievers” to be present in our corporate worship on Sundays, so that they too will worship God as they sense his presence (1 Cor. 14:22–27). Small group meetings can be an important stepping stone to church worship. Likewise, many church members might find it easier invite friends to a small group who aren’t ready to come to church.
Hospitality - Many believers feel drawn to practice the biblical command of loving those around them (Heb. 13:2, Rom. 12:13, etc.), but they don’t always know how to begin. The very thought of hosting non-family members can be intimidating!! But as believers gather in homes for food and spiritual conversation, those present can witness hospitality in action – and most find it isn’t difficult after all.
Commitment - We’ve always had a number of guests or occasional visitors “orbiting” our church; they are considering landing but not sure if or how they can. Small groups can provide a way for those who are trying—or considering whether they would like to try—to break into the life of our church.
Prayer - In the New Testament believers prayed together “with one accord” (Acts 4:24). Believers pray in private and in their family networks. In corporate worship, we pray silently while a leader voices the words for our church community. But in small groups, children and parents, neighbors and friends, elders and new converts help each other come before the throne of grace, voicing praise and petitions in a deeply personal atmosphere. In the small group setting, we can learn to pray as we come to appreciate the universal fatherhood of God among believers.
Socializing - Fellowship is not a spiritually-neutral activity. As we catch up with friends and make new ones, we practice our calling to understand and love each other. As we share and listen to stories, we learn how others are attempting to pull together and make one their common and sacred life. We begin to value each other in a much deeper understanding of just who our fellow members really are.