"Americans are good at forming clubs and gathering crowds. But clubs and crowds-especially when they are religious-are not communities. The formation of community is the intricate, patient and painful work of the Holy Spirit. We cannot buy or make community. We can only offer ourselves to become community" Eugene Peterson
A Life Group is a small gathering of 6-15 people who regularly meet to be the Church and to do life together. These groups are Biblical, Relational and Missional. That is, members study the Bible together, relate well to one-another and serve their community (Oikos). Life Groups are the church in its smallest, safest and most intimate form.
What are the foundational qualities that make a Life Group unique? LGs begin with a leader/shepherd who gives oversight to the group’s unique vision and mission. The LG leader is a lover of God and people, who desires to see them live the transformed life of Christ. Folks within the LG should be open to new people, with the understanding that the group’s ultimate goal is making and multiplying disciples. Multiplication of groups happens intentionally when its members are on mission and passionate about spiritual growth. The LG Coordinator is available to help with the logistics of multiplication. ABFs differ from LGs in that they are designed for folks to stay together through the stages of life and can grow fairly large.
Sermon-based questions provide the basis for group study time. The questions are designed to extend the truths taught during our Lead Pastor’s weekly teaching, and are made available on the church webpage following the worship time each Sunday.
LEFC believes that LGs are essential to fulfilling the church’s mission to, “Make Disciples” (MA 28:19, 20). Making disciples is about building relationships and involves a process of spiritual formation. Peter Scazzero defines spiritual formation as, “The process of putting off the sinful patterns of our family of origin and culture and learning to do life in the new Family of Jesus.” The following list illustrates some key aspects of this discipleship process:
- Emotional Health: “How can we know God, when we don’t even know ourselves?” (Augustine)
- Reading/Observing and Learning about the Biblical Text: “What does it say?”
- Interpreting the Biblical Text: “What does it mean?"
- Applying the Biblical Text: “So what?”
- Brokenness through the work of the Spirit: “I need to change.”
- Personalizing the Biblical Text: “What do I need to do to change?”
- Obedience to the Biblical Text: “Who will hold me accountable?”
Being a part of a small group of safe people whom I trust allows me to reap the rewards of vulnerability and the encouragement to grow that accompanies it. A pastor of counseling put it this way, “When we fear rejection or judgment… we tend to put our best foot forward, hiding our struggles. But that is not how real growth happens… an atmosphere of authenticity, grace and truth… accepted despite our struggles… helps us… [become mature disciples of Christ]” (George May, Calvary Church). So, the pursuit of biblical obedience through loving and healthy relationships while accomplishing His mission is the purpose of Life Groups.
Lead A LIFE Group
You know as much as anybody that it is important to be connected. We know it's hard to connect with others and build lasting friendships. We know that even defining community is tough because being in community is more than showing up for Bible study. It's also sharing food, laughing till it hurts and doing what you love to do with your favorite people.
What if you could help more people find and enjoy that kind of laughing, caring and growing community?
Uniquely designed for children newborn-6th grade where the Bible is taught in a creative and relevant way allowing children to grow in their relationship with Jesus.
5th through 12th grade students can connect with God, with other students and with committed leaders who are dedicated to equipping the next generation to be the spiritual leaders of tomorrow.
COLLEGE AGE MINISTRY
A place for high school graduates through those in their early 20’s to get together in community and grow closer to Christ.
Because you weren't meant to do life alone, our Adult Ministries are designed to empower adults to experience connection and foster spiritual growth.