We’re more than a church “with some LifeGroups.”
We’re less than a church “of LifeGroups” (a claim I’ve usually taken as somewhat hyperbolic anyway).
I guess you could say we are a church whose culture revolves around LifeGroups.
(By the way, the term “LifeGroups,” also known as “small groups” or “cell groups,” are intentional gatherings of 8-15 people who meet together weekly or bi-weekly for bible study, conversation, and prayer.)
So here are several ways we have been able to move LifeGroup from the periphery to the center of Good Shepherd over the last several years:
Leaders Lead — The majority of our staff not only participate in LifeGroups, they lead them as well.
It’s The First Question We Ask — Upon meeting someone who seems new to the church, we ask, “are you in a LifeGroup yet?” Some from the earliest days of a person’s walk at Good Shepherd, the language and the reality of LifeGroups are at the fore.
We speak it from the platform — It’s in our welcome. I try and bring it into sermons. Our worship leaders encourage it even as part of singing and praying.
Every event is a step. We offer periodic Men’sLife, LadiesLife, MarriedLife, and SingleLife events. Yet we only have those events if they contain a clear next step of joining a LifeGroup is part of the program.
We use excellent curricula. Our LifeGroups Director Shannon Schauber tells me he may even approve this book for LifeGroup use when it releases in September.
There’s more than one way to join one. We have launch events. We have weekly lobby presence. We have online opportunities.
We never stop tinkering. We’ve made progress. Yet the progress we’ve made only reveals how far we have to go. I’ve got some ideas for LifeGroups to embed themselves more fully into our culture in 2017 and 2018. Because if we’re inviting all people into a living relationship with Jesus Christ, we have to remember that living things don’t grow alone.
We’ve got a LifeGroup Launch Event on Tuesday, August 22. You can sign up here.