Our LifeGroup Plan
Who do you know that is not yet connected in a LifeGroup? Pray and ask God to bring people to mind, then reach out, and invite them. Brainstorm all the places you go, consider everyone you meet there to see who God might be urging you to invite. Maybe it is someone that you sit near in worship every week, or neighbors that you would like to get to know better? Is there someone from a class or that serves with you at church that you could ask? How about someone you work with or work out with from the gym? Do you have family members you don’t see often enough? It is exciting to watch how God will build and develop your group as you respond to His suggestions. LifeGroup Open Houses and contacts from weekly Check-In Cards are always a great way to meet newcomers who would like to join a group. Grab a couple of friends, meet weekly at a coffee shop, and you have a group! Just start, and watch to see what God will do!
MAKE THE MOST OF SEASON RESTARTS WHEN LAUNCHING A NEW SERIES
As time goes by, groups begin to bond and many will make an unspoken long-term commitment. This feels like a good fit for them and attendance becomes a regular part of schedules. Launching a new series creates a natural time to invite newcomers who will most often attend throughout the series and then decide whether or not this group is one they want to continue with through the next series. However, not all groups are a good fit for everyone. Follow up with people but be gracious when some decide to choose a different group on a different night or at a different location. Some people will leave the group and newcomers will join and this will keep group interactions always dynamic. Have a social event like a dinner or party to get acquainted with newcomers as you begin a new series. Keep the door mat out and the coffee on and your home will be a ministry oasis everyone will look forward to coming to!
WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS?
Each group will need to decide the best way to handle the childcare needs. There are many possibilities. Some groups designate one home (or a different level of the same home) for the kids to gather at and rotate a schedule of parents willing to alternate supervising the kids. Other groups pool their money to pay a teenager or two to watch the kids at one of the homes (or same home/different level). Depending on the age of the kids, forming a group of their own on a different level of the home with willing leaders to alternate has worked really well! The simplest solution is for the parents to simply make their own childcare arrangements and consider the financial cost well worth the spiritual and emotional benefits!
It is a good idea to share these guidelines together as a group at the first meeting, making an agreement together to follow them. Discuss any necessary modifications together so that all group members understand the expectations. This will ensure a healthy small group experience for everyone.
To provide a healthy LifeGroup environment where individuals are growing spiritually and in their relationships with one another, experiencing authentic community.
We will make it a priority to attend regularly and we will call or email whenever we must be absent.
We commit to providing a safe place where people can be heard and feel loved. (Respectfully responding without judgments or pat answers, graciously accepting differences in temperament, styles and opinions.)
What is said at the group, stays at the group. We won’t share other’s stories without their permission.
We commit to resolving any conflicts using the principles of Matthew 18:15-17.
We agree to encourage, support, and stand with each other as a unified group.
We will look for ways to serve one another, our church and in our community, individually and together.
Create a calendar for the group to record special events, birthdays, any rotation of leaders or hosts, social events, serving opportunities, weeks off, or anything else to keep everyone informed. Take some time on the first night to fill this out and revisit it periodically.
1. REMEMBER GOD IS WITH YOU. God has called you to step out in faith and facilitate this group, for a night or longer. He knows all about you and will supply what you need to fulfill this role. Others have also experienced uncertainty when called and God was faithful. Trust Him and you will be blessed. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
2. JUST BE YOU. No one does you better. God has uniquely created you with your personality, your strengths and gifts. But He continues to pour out more and more grace upon us. Scripture says, “God resists you when you are proud but continually pours out grace when you are humble” (James 4:6). If you don’t know an answer, just admit it and ask the group for their thoughts. You can always revisit the question the following week, giving time to research the answer. Admit any mistakes; we all make them!
3. PREPARE TO LEAD THE LESSON AHEAD OF TIME. Watch the video, read the material and answer all the questions then prayerfully decide which sections to prioritize. You don’t have to ask all the questions. Be flexible and let God guide you.
4. PRAY. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2). Pray for each group member by name. Pray for God’s Spirit to open hearts to receive from Him through the lesson and each other. Ask Him to guide the meeting and lead it through you. He will give you insight and direct you.
5. ASK A QUESTION, THEN PAUSE AND WAIT. Let people think. Reword the question if no one answers after a significant pause. There is nothing wrong with silence. The Passion Bible translates “Selah” as “Pause in the Presence.” Be aware that God is moving in your group and wait for His Spirit to prompt someone to answer. Don’t pressure anyone but encourage by your response and allow the conversation to flow between people. Never correct anyone’s answer; simply respond positively and ask if anyone else would like to add anything.
6. SHARE FROM YOUR HEART. Share your own struggles and how you have experienced God’s faithfulness. Your openness encourages others to risk telling their own stories. Be positive and hopeful in your attitude. “Celebrate with those who celebrate, and weep with those who grieve. Live happily together in a spirit of harmony, and be as mindful of another’s worth as you are your own. Don’t live with a lofty mind-set, thinking you are too important to serve others, but be willing to do menial tasks and identify with those who are humble minded. Don’t be smug or even think for a moment that you know it all. Never hold a grudge or try to get even, but plan your life around the noblest way to benefit others” (Romans 12:15-17). You set the tone for the group so take risks when needed to set an example that the group can follow.
Prayer & Praise Reports
Remember to record prayer requests and praises for each session.