This post was written by a good friend of mine and co-worker, Andrew Padgett. Andrew has been on staff with our church for over two years. He oversees the LifeGroups of our student ministry. Several years ago we made the commitment to invest in the small. As our church continued to grow we wanted to keep small groups at the core of who we are. Here are some encouraging words from him about why LifeGroups are important for teens and what it is that LifeGroups provide.   Enjoy!

A 2nd Voice //

You never know what the relationship might be like between a student and their parents / guardians.

Picture in your mind a student who is being raised by parents / guardians in an environment that expresses a love for Jesus.  In that environment, the parents / guardians of this student are modeling what it means to have a relationship with Jesus.  In situations like these, having a LifeGroup Leader provides this student with a second voice in their life.  That LifeGroup Leader would have the unique opportunity of coming alongside this student to help them continue growing in their faith.  It would also allow that LifeGroup Leader to affirm what the parents / guardians have been cultivating in the life of their student by partnering with the parents / guardians.
Now, picture in your mind a student who is being raised by parents / guardians in an environment that does not express a love for Jesus.  In that environment, this student would have little to no idea what having a relationship with Jesus looks like.  In situations like these, having a LifeGroup Leader provides this student with a second voice in their life.  That LifeGroup Leader would have the humbling privilege of coming alongside this student to help them move forward in their faith.  It would  also allow that LifeGroup Leader to speak truth in love to this student and to become a source of guidance, when sadly and unfortunately the parents / guardians are not doing so.
Whether it’s the first situation or the second situation, it’s clear to see that all students need a second voice in their life.  Every student needs to feel like they are loved.  That’s what a second voice does.  It becomes a relationship in which the LifeGroup Leader gets to invest in the life of a student. 

A 2nd Home //

You never know what home life might be like for a student.

Given the first situation above, the home life of this student is more than likely an encouraging environment.  This student probably loves being home.  However, this student then also loves being at the home where their LifeGroup meets, because it adds to what they already experience at home.  It provides this student with a sense of excitement each week.

Now, given the second situation above, the home life of this student is more than likely a discouraging environment.  This student probably doesn’t enjoy being home.  Therefore, this student then enjoys being at the home where their LifeGroup meets, because it gives them the chance to experience family in a fresh way.  It provides this student with a sense of expectancy each week.

Whether it’s the first situation or the second situation, it’s clear to see that all students need a second home in their life.  Every student needs to feel like they belong.  That’s what a second home does.  It becomes a place in which there is a community that lives life together.

A 2nd Step //

The first step for a student is to regularly attend and engage in the weekly student worship service.  The second step then for a student is to get connected to a LifeGroup.  Through LifeGroups as the second step, students will pray, read their Bible, and go through the LifeGroup content.  Furthermore, students will also gain encouragement, accountability, and transparency.

However, LifeGroups is not the end.  Rather, being in a LifeGroup is the second step, for there are steps for students to take even after LifeGroups.  The third step for students is serving.  The more a student serves, the more a student will grow in their faith.  Then, the fourth step for students is mentoring.  The more a student is mentored and is mentoring, the more a student will grow in their faith.

Ultimately, through the weekly student worship service, through LifeGroups, through serving, and through mentoring, students will begin to take more and more ownership of their faith.  Each step helps students move forward in their relationship with Jesus.  With that being said, LifeGroups as the second step in the process is of great importance.

A 2nd Voice.  A 2nd Home.  A 2nd Step. 

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