Q: What is a LIFE Group?
A: We are small gatherings of around 12 people who care, grow, connect and serve as we do life . . . together.
Care for one another through the victories and struggles in life.
Grow in our faith as we apply God’s Word to our lives.
Connect with God and others within authentic community.
Serve others as a witness of God's work in our lives.
Q: Where do Life Groups meet?
A: LIFE Groups can meet just about anywhere: in homes, restaurants, at a neighborhood park, in the workplace, or at the church.
Q: How long do groups meet? A: Groups are designed to do life together in authentic community. This takes time. We recommend groups to meet at least twice a month for 18 months and then reassess how they want to move forward. However, we do have Starter Groups during our LIFE Group Launch to help people get a small taste of life together.
Q: Do groups meet during the summer? A: Groups decide for themselves as to whether they would like to meet over the summer. Some groups will do a light study, while others will gather together to socialize and fellowship, going on outings, or even BBQ! Because of fluctuating schedules and vacations, each group will need to decide which plan would serve them best.
Q: Who are in these groups? A: We have groups through the Men's Ministry, Women's Ministry, mixed groups of various stages of life, young families, and more! Some groups are a collection of friends, others were strangers or acquaintances at one time. Each group has its own personality and unique make up. We recommend meeting for at least an hour.
Q: What do you do in a Life Group? A: These small group communities meet together to get to know each other, for prayer, fellowship, conversations about God's Word and how it applies to their lives, and how they can serve one another, their church, and neighbor. Refreshments or dinner are always nice, but optional!
Q: What do you study?
A: Groups engage in a variety of resources such as our online video library with RightNow Media and books ranging from particular books of the Bible, theological studies, spiritual disciplines, biblical parenting, marriage, specialty topics, devotionals, or even to discuss the weekend's sermon. The great part about Life Groups is the flexibility of choosing resources that best meet the needs of your group (contact the Connections Coordinator or visit our resource page for ideas.)
Q: I want to join a LIFE Group, but don't see a list. How do I join? A: Fill out our form to join a LIFE Group here.
Q: I have a great idea for a LIFE Group. How do I get started?
A: Let us know about your idea by completing our form here and we'll help you get started.
Q: What is a covenant and why should we have one in our small group? A: A covenant is an agreement that all members of the group adhere to. Having a covenant will give the group an agreed upon purpose and vision. It will also serve as a road map to arrive at a desired destination, provide a framework for managing potential conflict, create healthy boundaries to function within, and will eliminate unspoken expectations. For small group covenant samples, visit www.smallgroups.com.
Q: What do LIFE Groups look like?
A: LIFE Groups come in all shapes and sizes— with groups of married couples, singles, men, women, kids, no kids, workplace, life stage, life interests (i.e. hobbies)—the list goes on. No two groups are alike, people gather for many reasons, and the expressions and experiences of each group will look different because of the unique gifts, personalities, and passions of the people involved. An important element of LIFE Groups is confidentiality. What is shared by one person within the group is kept confidential and within the group. This confidentiality of LIFE Groups allows us to “get real” so we can be loved and encouraged wherever we are without having to pretend that everything is fine.
Q: What are my responsibilities as a group leader?
A: Groups can share the different responsibilities of group life. It starts when someone commits in their heart to develop community in their life. They "get the ball rolling" and keep the group moving forward. We generally call this person the leader (or point person) but this does not imply that they are teaching the group but more of a facilitator or host. Many groups share leading the discussions from week to week or year to year.
Other group responsibilities can be shared as well - including food, journaling the groups’ prayer requests, communications within the group and social and outreach events. Shared ownership in the group helps everyone to feel valued and use their spiritual gifts.
Q: What is essential to a LIFE group?
A: There are four essential elements in a LIFE Group: Care, Grow, Connect and Serve. Connect with God and others authentially and regularly; Care for one another through the joys and sorrows of life; Grow in your understanding and application of God's Word and through service to others. Through caring, growing, connecting, and serving, our hope is that the following would occur:
We accept one another as we are.
We share our struggles, successes, joys and pains.
We are honest with each other and ourselves—able to start removing the "masks" that we hide behind.
We listen intently as others are speaking.
We do not criticize or condemn what others share.
We do not give unsolicited advice.
We gather to care, God does the curing.
We share our own stories and experiences.
We trust one another completely, confidentiality is key in all group discussions.
We are free to remain silent, if we wish.
We keep the discussion informal and accept that we don't have all the answers to life's questions.
We encourage one another to minister within the group and to others outside the group.
LIFE Group Resources
Find resources for LIFE Group leaders to help develop community for yourself and others in an atmosphere of mutual discipleship.