One of the best things we can do to develop as Christians is to join in a small group of like-minded believers. We are praying that Luminary can do a better job of providing such opportunities.
First, a little terminology: We’re calling these gatherings “Life Groups.” A Life Group is six to eight people using discipleship, service and accountability as they grow together in an ongoing relationship.
Part of the plan is to make it as easy as possible for people in South Roane and North Meigs counties to involve themselves in such groups and invite others.
The first opportunity to form these groups on a trial basis will be in April. Easter is April 1 this year; we will align the start of these groups with the following Sunday, April 8.
That Sunday, Pastor Chuck will begin a six-week preaching series, “Children of God,” rooted in the letter of 1 John. We also will make available study materials for Life Groups. Those materials will allow the Life Groups to dig deeper into the “Children of God” subject matter as they meet at other times during the week.
Here is the pattern for these Life Groups:
1) Hear the sermon in worship;
2) Meet later in the week as a Life Group in a comfortable place to use the additional study materials;
3) Hear the next sermon in the next worship;
4) Gather as a Life Group;
5) Continue for four more weeks.
If you feel like you want to host a Life Group, the good news is you won’t need any special training to do so. You simply need to determine a time, place, and the people you want to invite to be in your group. The “grab and go” study materials should be sufficient to sustain your group each week.
Hosting is simple. Just follow the basic principles of hospitality. Invite people to a comfortable location, and provide them with something simple to eat or drink. It is okay to be creative about the location. Some of you may be more comfortable inviting people into your homes. Others could schedule space in the church building.
Some of you might want to organize in a public space. Don’t be afraid to meet in a coffee shop, restaurant or bar if you feel called in that direction.
Once the six-week series is over, the Life Group members will want to decide if they should continue meeting. At that point, a group will need serious guidance regarding how to establish longer-term relationships and a particular focus for the group. A “how to” guide will be part of the study materials.
Pastor Chuck is happy to discuss this further with anyone considering hosting a Life Group. If you want to schedule a time to talk, e-mail him at email@example.com, or call the office at (865) 376-7040.