WHY LIFEGROUPS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR A GROWING CHURCH

WHY LIFEGROUPS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR A GROWING CHURCH

By: Jake Ferguson

Many would agree, LifeGroups within the church foster growth and community on a much deeper level than that of any given Sunday.  Just as any great house, the essential ingredient to its standing is its foundation.  Or, the accuracy of a bullet, rests upon the proficiency of its marksman.  The same is true for growing churches; that relationships are lived out in the context of biblical community to raise up disciples who make disciples.

If you were to ask 100 people what they thought about LifeGroups and why they are essential, you may find yourself 100 different responses.  LifeGroups do have varying goals and objectives, but most groups—if not all—contribute to the achievement of one or more of the following objectives:

The Development of Spiritual Maturity

Fellowship Among Members

Ministry Within and Outside the Group

A LifeGroup by itself is not the main contributor of the growth of a church or its members.  It is the community of believers within the group who extend the Gospel to one another inside and outside of the group to maintain and advance Christ’s Kingdom.

The three objectives listed above, faithfully lived out, and extended towards others are the qualities and traits that make LifeGroups so essential to the growth of the church.  Spiritual maturity among members of each group in conjunction with biblical fellowship will lead to ministry within and outside of the group environment.  LifeGroups are not a self-contained bubble of believers that repel everything on the outside, but instead, a family who comes together to reach others in a way that resembles that of Christ and His earthly ministry and to faithfully live out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

Every Sunday we hear a wonderful message that challenges each listener in his or her own walk with the Lord.  Families are being loved on, new attendees are being welcomed and encouraged to be placed in their sweet spot, people are responding in faith by the moving of the Holy Spirit, and various ministries are reaching lost souls and growing disciples.  But all these things do not happen just on a Sunday morning: they’re happening in people’s homes during LifeGroup!  LifeGroups also help to equip and prepare believers to grow in their discipleship process.  Whether a believer has been saved for a month or fifty years, doing life together in biblical community and fellowship can sharpen anyone through every step of the way in their walk with Christ.  Spiritual maturity, fellowship with believers, and ministering to others is a heavy responsibility that all Christians are commanded to take part in.  It is essential for the church.  The church is the bride of Christ and we are to be His disciples by being the hands and feet of the Great Commission.

LifeGroups help members of the church to be loved into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, equipping them for the mission at hand, pleasing and glorifying to God, to GO in the community, our nation, and to the ends of the world.

BUILDING MOMENTUM THIS SUMMER

BUILDING MOMENTUM THIS SUMMER

SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE:

By: Megan Saurman

As LifeGroup Leaders we are discipling our LifeGroup members into growth, a slow purposeful steady incline of spiritual maturity to help them reach a goal of taking the next step into starting a LifeGroup themselves. As we witness to them about what being a LifeGroup Leader looks like we are building momentum with them about what God can do in their lives through community, prayers, daily reading, and serving. In order to reach that goal, we have to be consistently plugging them into the joy & momentum about what taking a step-in faith is all about. You have spent months investing into your LifeGroup so it’s important to not lose what you have gained with them in the busy Summertime shuffle.

So how do we keep the momentum up over the Summer with our LifeGroup? How do we remind them that Summer is also for Next Steps and continuing to keep a steady pace in growing closer to God? Here are a few practical ways to keep the energy high and the momentum building during Summer before our Fall LifeGroups kickoff:

  1. It’s hard to be motivated or have momentum if we are spiritually thirsty. Maintaining a healthy soul is key over the Summer, so check in and make sure they aren’t spiritually parched:
  • Ask them what they are reading daily or what podcasts they have enjoyed over Summer. Share what you have enjoyed.
  • Ask them if they have plugged into other churches while traveling to visit friends and family, if any sermon stood out to them.  Mention any sermon you heard that stood out to you as well.
  • Ask them what their prayers have looked like lately and if you could join with them in praying for a need to be met.

2. Send texts, or post on your LifeGroup Facebook page about what your church is doing over the Summer. Ask them if they plan on attending the events that church is asking our community to volunteer for or participate in. See if they would like to meet your family there to catch up.

 

3. As your members take Next Steps (listed below) over the Summer make a big deal celebrating this with your LifeGroup

  • Being baptized
  • Going on a mission trip
  • Attending the Belong class
  • Tithing for the first time
  • Joining a serve team
  • Starting their own LifeGroup in the Fall

Remember, momentum is contagious, and as a LifeGroup Leader it starts with YOU.

SUMMER WITH LIFEGROUP’S

SUMMER WITH LIFEGROUP’S

SUMMER BREAK DOSEN’T MEAN STOP FOR THE SUMMER

by: Megan Saurman

As LifeGroup Leaders we have zeal and passion to pour into the families or individuals within our LifeGroups. Eager to help with any task, answer every text message, spend quality time teaching God’s word and praying over our attendees earnestly. We are totally invested, sold out even, in this calling on our lives. Each session of LifeGroups we strive to keep up that intentionality, those relationships, the level of connection within our LifeGroup. Our LifeGroups calendar at FBCJax purposely takes a break in the Summer so LifeGroup Leaders can spiritually refuel and get re-energized. We encourage you to do so.

Let me also ask you a question though, how do you stay connected to your LifeGroup throughout Summer even when you aren’t consecutively meeting? How do you share your lives while you travel on Summer vacation, do house projects, bring new additions into the family? To so many new people who are transitioning into our town, and starting your LifeGroup you are the only source of fellowship they may have. So how can you take a break yet make them plugged in and still cared for while still taking a little you time?

Allow Summer to give you a break and much-needed rest but also allow it to bring your LifeGroup closer by changing the dynamic of how you communicate and the location of where you hang out together. Need some practical ideas? Here are some great ways to connect and stay close to your LifeGroup over the Summer:

  • Create a Facebook group page. If you haven’t already, create a closed group page for your LifeGroup. This is a great way to share prayer requests, share praise reports, schedule get-togethers and share pictures of what’s happening in your Summer.

 

  • Meet for an outdoor activity. Summer gives us a great opportunity to spend time outdoors and out of the normal setting with our LifeGroup. The beach, pool, local splash pad, concerts on the lawn, and youth sports activities all make for great places to gather your LifeGroup together for fellowship time while still taking advantage of the warm weather.

 

  • Host an event once during Summer. This can be a BBQ, a birthday party, even a game night. It gives everyone a chance to see each other, catch up, and also see each other in a laid back atmosphere.

 

  • Have a swap weekend. If you have a family LifeGroup see if the men can watch the kids one day while the ladies go out and vice versa. This gives you one on one time to become closer and to share a specific outing with your LifeGroup.

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