A Life Group is made up of 10 16 people who meet weekly to study, to share, and to support one another in their Christian lives. Each group is led by a trained leader and host. A typical meeting lasts for an hour and a half, followed by light, dessert refreshments. Some groups choose to also spend some time in singing and worship.
We consider Life Groups to be the hub of our ministry. They are the place where the real ministry of the church takes place as we encourage, support, and challenge one another. God doesn’t want any of us to be left to walk alone – we need each other.
Each Life Group session lasts 9-11 weeks. Basically, we’ve broken the year into 4 quarters or sessions. At the end of each quarter, you have the choice of staying in the same group, trying a new group, or even taking a break. Most groups stay together throughout the entire year. However, groups do not meet mid June through August, though some continue to meet informally or socially through the summer.
We suggest you join a group based on your “station in life” rather than on geography or the most convenient night of the week. We’ve found that a group works best when you share common interests, backgrounds, marital status or similar aged children. Frankly, sometimes it might take two or three groups before you find the perfect fit. But don’t worry, you’ll find it!
Joining a Life Group requires a 9-11 week commitment to attend the weekly meetings and to do the homework ahead of time. Obviously, allowances are made for sickness, vacation, work conflicts, and other special events…but not much more! We have found that this commitment is the key to strong relationships and healthy groups.
Life Groups are for adults only (Exceptions are made for nursing newborns up to six months). We leave it up to each family to work out their own childcare. Sometimes it works best for families to share a sitter or to swap childcare with another family whose group meets on a different evening or time.
The studies are based on the previous weekend’s sermon. Most of our Life Groups are built upon what we call a “Lecture Lab” model. If you imagine the weekend sermon as a lecture on Christian living, then the group meeting is a lab where you get to discuss how the sermon works out in real life.
Each week there will be a series of Bible passages and questions to study and complete before your meeting. The homework is included on the back of the sermon note sheet found in your bulletin. It will usually take 20 to 30 minutes to complete the homework.
Church wide sign ups begin at the start of each new session (in September, January, and March). You can also sign up before or after any weekend worship service or by calling the church office. Our pastors and staff will be happy to help you find just the right group for you. Those who are new to the church (start attending in the middle of a session) can sign up and join any group that has openings without waiting for the start of a new session.
Our Life Groups meet on various days and nights of the week in homes throughout the community. A few of them actually meet at the church building even though we view them as Life Groups. This is particularly true of some “Special Interest” and “Recovery” groups.