Yesterday while preaching I made a comment about having two really good life groups in our church. I know this probably caught people off guard and I actually was asked the question – “what two?”. I won’t answer that question but I do want to answer this question: What makes a great life group?
I know many people in and out of the church may not understand what a life group is so let me quickly explain. A life group is a small group of people usually 8-12 (at the most) who covenant together to grow in their walk with Jesus Christ and become His disciple. For some churches they call it Sunday School, for some churches it is called a covenant group, others yet call them cell groups. Some groups meet on Sundays, some on Wednesdays and yet others meet any day of the week. Regardless of what they are called or when they meet, a small group is a group of people who will commit to living life imperfectly as they grow in their walk with Jesus. So what makes a Great Life Group?
There are a variety of reasons I believe which make a Life Group great, so let me share my thoughts:
- Jesus is the center of the group. Unfortunately when you get a group of people together sometimes they become self-centered and Jesus is quickly moved from the focus to the outside. But a great life group will truly desire to have Jesus consistently at the Center of the group and He is the focus of the group. It is all about Him and each individual desires to grow in the knowledge, grace and love of Jesus Christ. A great life group knows that eternal success in their lives is dependent on keeping Jesus at the center of all they do.
THERE IS NO PARTICULAR ORDER OF IMPORTANCE HERE ON OUT!
- There is commitment to the group. Each member is committed to faithfully attend the meeting times as much as possible. People simply are not committed to much of anything and that includes the Body of Christ. In a great Life Group people will not miss for trivial things and they will do everything in their power to actively participate every time the group is scheduled to meet. People tend to plan their lives around a great Life Group and have a strong desire to meet with their brothers and sisters in Christ. The other members mean a lot to them and they don’t want to miss being with each other.
- They have a loving servant leader. While the success of the entire group does not fall or stand only on the shoulders of the leader, a loving servant leader (facilitator) goes a long way to helping make the covenant group great. The leader actually loves the people in the group and does not only say it but shows it through their interaction with the members throughout the week and not just during the regular scheduled meetings. A servant leader looks at the covenant group as their “own little flock” as they are responsible for the care and nurture of those entrusted to their care. Their task of leading is not mundane or depressing but they gain much joy and happiness by leading and watching the members grow in their walk with Jesus. When a member is hurting, the leader is hurting. When a member is happy, the leader is happy. They feel compassion for the members of their small group. The servant leader loves their members.
- The members carry each others burdens. There are many groups that simply meet just to say they meet. BUT in a great life group the members genuinely care for one another. They are compassionate, loving, kind, genuine, long suffering, etc. with one another. Their actions toward one another show a genuine caring for each other and they do everything they can to help each other carry the burdens of each other and grow in their walk with each other through thick and thin. While they may not have hobbies that are similar, nor do they have similar personalities, they do love one another and will help each other with anything.
- They deal with sin. If people are growing in their knowledge and love of Jesus Christ, they must confront sin. Confronting sin is not about being better or about being right or about being more spiritual but it is about keeping “cancer” (sin) out of the church body at large. Dealing with sin in another persons life is never easy but restoration needs to be the goal. Now this doesn’t mean that you practice church discipline with every little issue that arises in an individuals life but that when the need arises that you are willing to deal with the sin. It is all done in love, not arrogance and pride.
I will add to this list. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts so far. Have a great, it is a great day for it.