Every week people from the LifeSpring community gather in smaller pockets to develop friendships, to share in Kingdom initiatives, pursue wholeness, to ask big questions and share life together. It’s the best way to connect, grow deeper and equip people for love and life. We call these gatherings, LifeGroups (LG).
Below are a combination of six key principles that we characterize as our LG, experience.
1. Connecting Takes Time
LGs intentionally deepen what is tasted on Sunday. The goal here is to gain a greater understanding of the message. Revisiting the message with others cultivates a genuine hunger for God. Further, it creates a culture of people who desire to work out the “message” of Jesus. This takes time and a lot of conversation.
2. Growing New Stories
Our LGs are effective catalysts for story building. Our groups go deeper by planning, working out and acting out the Good News. It takes time. Therefore they meet for a minimum of 12 months, working through our Sunday series, doing dinner parties and local Kingdom endeavours. Great stories and great relationships are grown here.
3. Irresistible Spaces
It’s firstly important for everyone to see that they will be loved for who they are, prayed for in their challenges, encouraged in their faith and celebrated in their journey. This is ultimately the key to creating Irresistible spaces.
Too often small group "theory" dictates strategies that often place too much pressure on an average leader to be a “strategist" instead of a relationship builder. We help LG leaders relax and use their natural desire to serve in ways that help their group grow closer.
We understand the tension between a group growing closer together and asking them to split up in order to multiply irresistibility. We choose to live in that tension by having the LG leaders be in conversation and planning with the Pastor of LGs. There’s excitement in being involved in a growing church-wide effort.
4. Leadership Potential, not Proven Leaders
Part of our connection and discipleship strategy is designed to first get people serving and then releasing them to be leaders. We’re not waiting for perfect people to show up. All we need is people who are willing, teachable and obedient. We patiently discern where people fit so as not to place them in a situation where they would not thrive. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon.
5. People Need Good Help
Not all groups are created equal. Some groups have mature disciples within them and some are filled with brand new believers or have been liberally sprinkled with challenging types of people. In any case, people always need help whether it is spiritual, mental, marital, etc.
We ask the LG leaders not to “fix” people. Sometimes the group dynamic dictates the right amount and kind of care an individual needs.
Getting people help can go really well or really badly. We choose to get people the best help and have it go really well. We ask our leaders to be discerning and wise to know when to engage the LG Pastor as to next steps in getting help for their group members. We recognize that we are not pros and a lot times people need professional help.
6. Leaders Facilitate not Dominate
The foundation of a LG is not the leader. It’s Christ. We ask each leader to be very mindful of the fact that everyone has a view and a voice. In LGs we value what people have to say. That means that the leader’s main job is to coordinate the gatherings, plan and facilitate discussion. People, no matter the age, need a place to talk and ask big questions, whether its about life or God.
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