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Life Groups

A Life Group is simply a group of people coming together fulfilling our church's mission of Living and Learning, Loving and Leading. We live and we learn to love and to lead. It is made up of mature Christians as well as those seeking Christ. It is the place where disciples are made.

Every Life Group has three essential roles:

the Life Group Leader, the assistant Life Group Leader, and the Host

Every Life Group gathering accomplishes three things:

Meet, Eat, and Pray

 

 

Life Group Leader

Now before we answer what a Life Group Leader is, let's look at what it is not:

lifegroupnot

It is not a Sunday School teacher, though an LGL may teach Sunday School.

It is not a deacon, though and LGL may serve as a deacon.

It is not a Bible Study leader, though an LGL may lead a Bible Study.

It is not a program director, though an LGL may direct programs.

It is not a person who does everything, knows everything, and has a perfect life.

A Life Group Leader is a person committed to helping other people be more like Christ. It is someone who loves people and is willing to model a mature Christian faith…someone who is willing to say, “Follow me and I'll take you to Jesus.” As D.T. Niles put it, “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”

A Life Group Leader is a 3 year commitment to oversee a group of 5 to 25 people. The primary responsibility of the LGL is to seek to connect them to the Body of Christ and keep them connected. A shepherd oversees the birth of new sheep and works hard not to lose any of them!

In addition, the LGL is praying for the members of the group and is empowered by the Spirit of God to equip and train them to serve Christ and fulfill His mission.

If that sounds too daunting, remember the primary task is to keep track of everyone. Everything God expects the LGL to do, He will equip them to do. That is the role of the pastor of the church. The Life Group Leader will meet regularly with the pastor of the church and with the other Life Group Leaders to help encourage one another, evaluate the Life Groups, and to equip on another for better service.

The moral character of a Life Group Leader needs to be above reproach and reflect a life committed to Christ and growing in Him.

 

 The Assistant Life Group Leader

Before a person can serve as a Life Group Leader, they must serve as an assistant Life Group Leader for 3 months. After that the existing Life Group Leaders will prayerfully consider appointing that individual as a leader of an existing or new Life Group.

The assistant must affirm the 8 essentials we believe and our church covenant before they become a Life Group Leader.

An assistant Life Group Leader can also be someone who has been approved to be a Life Group Leader, but is not ready for a 3 year commitment.

The training of the assistant Life Group Leader is the responsibility of the Life Group Leader. This is a mentor (i.e. Paul/Timothy) relationship and the duties and responsibilities of the assistant are at the discretion of the leader.

The assistant is responsible for the duties of the Life Group Leader in their absence, but it is expected that both the leader and assistant will attend all meetings when possible.

 

The Host

A great way to involve another family in the Life Group who is ready to make a commitment to serve, but does not feel called to lead, is to have them serve as the Host for the Life Group. The Host is responsible for making sure there is an adequate and accommodating place for the Life Group to meet and that enough food has been prepared to feed everyone.

The Host is selected by the Life Group Leader.

This does not mean the Life Group has to meet in the Host's home or that the Host has to provide all the food. In fact, a good host finds a way to involve all the members of the Life Group in meeting these needs.

It is important for the Host to contact all the members of the Life Group to get a good idea of how many will be attending the meeting, childcare needs, and dietary issues so they can make the best plans possible for a successful meeting. If the Host is unable to attend a meeting, they are responsible for making sure all the meetings needs are taken care of and delegated to people who will get it done.

The Host needs to always remember their primary role is to take care of all the hospitality issues so that the leader can focus upon the care and training of the members of the group.

The Life Group Leader and assistant can model what it means to be a good host, but the leader does not need to fill this role. For one reason, the leader is not helping to give others an opportunity to serve and grow. The main reason is that it will detract from the leader's ability to give full attention to the spiritual needs of the members of the group.

 

MEET

We're trying to keep things simple: MEET means gather together.

Gathering together regularly has been a practice of the church since its inception.

Each Life Group should gather together at least once a month; how often the group meets, though, is dependent upon the group.

The leader needs to be sensitive to the group as to what the group does when they meet. Bible study, financial management, marital helps, there are many curriculums that could be beneficial to the Life Group members. The Life Group Leader needs to take time in developing relationships with the members in order to know what they are needing most in order to grow in their faith. Sometimes people need to just get together…to be together.

Not only does the group need to meet regularly, it is also important for microgroups (2 or 3 people in the Life Group) to meet weekly. The leader needs to try and pair people up so that they have a face to face meeting each week. These pairings should be as natural as possible and could be as simple as getting together for lunch. It is important to physically see the person.

When there is a person who doesn't pair up naturally or is the odd man out, the leader needs to add the person two an existing pair until an appropriate partner joins the Life Group.

Men should only meet with men, and women with women.

Each week the Life Group Leader should make some type of connection with the Life Group members (e-mail, text, phone call) to make sure they are meeting face to face in their microgroups. The Life Group Leader or assistant needs to have a face to face with anyone who was left behind.

The purpose of these microgroups is to provide a time of accountability and discussion on a deeper more personal level than can take place in the greater group.

The goal is for no one to fall through the cracks, everyone is accounted for.

A Life Group Leader always needs to be aware of Satan's greatest strategy to destroy believers…isolation.

 

EAT

Everybody has to eat. Why not eat together! Again, since the inception of the church, its members have gathered together to “break bread” and eat together.

When the meal takes place is at the discretion of the Life Group Leader, but a meal should always be planned.

Ask everyone to bring something. Be sensitive to their ability, but everyone can bring something…even if it's cups or napkins. This makes everyone feel a part of the group. Someone who doesn't bring something is a guest.

Food selection should be left to the Host, but the group can be a part of the decision-making process. Always be aware if someone is diabetic, allergic, or if there are other dietary concerns.

 

PRAY

The Life Group Leader should make prayer the highest priority. It is easy to fall into the trap of enjoying each other's fellowship and food and forget our heavenly Father.

Time needs to be set aside to commune with God.

The Life Group Leader is given great liberty in how this time is conducted, but one thing is essential…the Life Group must pray. Of course, pray before the meal; but additional time is needed to voice needs and concerns and reports of praise, and then share with God in prayer.

Prayer time will vary greatly from group to group because people are different. Some will be very time conscious; others will be offended if the time spent in prayer is too brief. Some people pray at the same time, others only one speaks at a time. Some groups will want everyone to pray, others will be very uncomfortable praying aloud. Sometimes there may be a need to lay hands on someone, but only if they want that. If there are people unfamiliar with the practice of prayer, the leader should take time to explain what the group is doing and why they are doing it.

Any difficult requests or situations should be communicated to the pastor.

The leader has to know the people of the group and be sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

The microgroups should be encouraged to have prayer when they get together also.

Prayer is a powerful gift from God and it should be practiced often.