Life Groups

Life Groups

Building Relationships / Life Groups

Acts 2:42 “And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” 

Let us direct our thoughts to fellowship, and specifically to the benefits and outcomes of having closer relationships among our Christian friends.  Our world today is in a position where Americans have become some of the loneliest people in the world.  As Christians, we are meant to be involved in the lives of our brothers and sisters.  The typical church member comes to church one or two times a week, spends about two hours at the building and interacts for about 15 minutes with their fellow Christians.  Church is great – But what a shame that we aren’t fully reaping all the benefits that Jesus intended in His church community!

We’ve been working on a plan to utilize geographically-friendly small groups (or LIFE GROUPS) of 10 – 15 persons each to renew the fellowship aspect of what the church is meant to provide.  One source of information that describes what occurs with small group study / friendship uses the acronym SHARE:

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!

Leading Life Groups

Last week we introduced the concept of Life Groups – This week we will talk some more about their purpose and group leadership.  The way we see it, Life Groups will: Help our membership fulfill the intent of Acts 2:42: "And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers"; Bring our membership to deeper, more satisfying relationships which support our needs as individuals and as a society; Deepen our understanding of Scripture especially in the area of how we apply Scripture in our lives; and  Provide a platform to enable our members to fulfill the needs of our community.

Any time we have a group that meets to fulfill a purpose, we need a Leader – and if a group is meeting at a home, we need to have a Host (or Hosts – more later).  We met with some interested folks last Wednesday night to discuss some details of both Leading and Hosting. 

Leading will be made very simple so that anyone willing shouldn’t have any problems (except for a few butterflies during the first meeting!).  Once that first meeting is underway, you’ll find that this is such a comfortable atmosphere that leading a group is a pleasure.  The leader’s responsibilities will include determining a few “norms” of how the individual group will function (first meeting only – figuring out who else may want to lead/host, best time to meet, whether you are going to have no food, a snack, a meal, etc.), facilitating the study application discussion using prepared material based on that Sunday’s sermon, and communicating back to the church on how things are going, attendance, etc.

Life Group Experience

Hosting can be made extremely simple – You will just be providing your home to host the group.  (Dawn and I always loved to host in Richmond because we didn’t have to leave the house!) Your group can determine if you want to mix up hosting on a weekly basis, etc. – you do whatever works for your group!

A typical Life Group experience would be: Everyone meets and greets for a few minutes, until the leader has to break it up to get the study started.  Some groups with children may choose to sing a few songs (especially if they have some budding L2L song leaders trying to practice!). Children typically leave the group with one adult (the responsibilities can be shared each week to study with the kids).  The adults start the study with a prayer, then the scripture / topical note is read that is going to be reviewed.  Questions are asked to start the group talking about the verses at hand, generally to provide a basis for the group to carry on the discussion. Once discussion is exhausted, the real-world application of what was studied is pointed out one more time and at some point, time is called for the study to end.  At that time most groups choose to eat a bite, talk some more, and finally go home.

Hopefully, this sounds like an irresistible way for you to interact with and learn about your fellow brothers and sisters in our church!  We want everyone to be a part of a Life Group at some point in our future.

 

The Elder’s Corner:  Life Group Hosting & Experience

 

Last week we went through a few details on leading a small group (we’re calling them Life Groups).  This week, we’ll discuss hosting and how a typical Life Group get-together works! First let’s talk about hosting.

Hosting can be made extremely simple – You will just be providing your home to host the group.  (Dawn and I always loved to host in Richmond because we didn’t have to leave the house!) Your group can determine if you want to mix up hosting on a weekly basis, etc. – you do whatever works for your group. As was noted in an earlier Life Group article, your group may want to eat a meal, a snack, or nothing at all.  Typically, the host is not asked to provide food –normally they are making last minute cleanups before everyone arrives!

Now for the typical Life Group meeting experience!  Everyone meets and greets for a few minutes, until the leader has to break it up to get the study started.  Some groups with children may choose to sing a few songs (especially if they have some budding L2L song leaders trying to practice!). Children typically leave the group and are taught by one adult/teen (the responsibilities can be shared each week to study with the kids).  The adults start the study with a prayer, then the scripture / topical note is read that is going to be reviewed.   Questions are asked to start the group talking about the verses at hand, generally to provide a basis for the group to carry on the discussion. Once discussion is exhausted, the real-world application of what was studied is pointed out one more time and at some point, time is called for the study to end.  At that time, most groups choose to eat a bite, talk some more, and finally go home.

Hopefully, this sounds like an irresistible way for you to interact with and learn about your fellow brothers and sisters in our church!  We want everyone to be a part of a Life Group at some point in our future.

Life Group Hosting & Experience

Last week we went through a few details on leading a small group (we’re calling them Life Groups).  This week, we’ll discuss hosting and how a typical Life Group get-together works! First let’s talk about hosting.

Hosting can be made extremely simple – You will just be providing your home to host the group.  (Dawn and I always loved to host in Richmond because we didn’t have to leave the house!) Your group can determine if you want to mix up hosting on a weekly basis, etc. – you do whatever works for your group. As was noted in an earlier Life Group article, your group may want to eat a meal, a snack, or nothing at all.  Typically, the host is not asked to provide food –normally they are making last minute cleanups before everyone arrives!

Now for the typical Life Group meeting experience!  Everyone meets and greets for a few minutes, until the leader has to break it up to get the study started.  Some groups with children may choose to sing a few songs (especially if they have some budding L2L song leaders trying to practice!). Children typically leave the group and are taught by one adult/teen (the responsibilities can be shared each week to study with the kids).  The adults start the study with a prayer, then the scripture / topical note is read that is going to be reviewed.   Questions are asked to start the group talking about the verses at hand, generally to provide a basis for the group to carry on the discussion. Once discussion is exhausted, the real-world application of what was studied is pointed out one more time and at some point, time is called for the study to end.  At that time, most groups choose to eat a bite, talk some more, and finally go home.

Hopefully, this sounds like an irresistible way for you to interact with and learn about your fellow brothers and sisters in our church!  We want everyone to be a part of a Life Group at some point in our future.