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.