- Forming Christ-centered communities by Gathering to Grow Deep in God’s Word and Scattering to Branch Out in God’s World.
- Growing Deep in God’s Word: We gather in our Life Groups to grow deeper together in Christ through his Word. Jesus said there’s something special about even the smallest gathering of people in his Name, such that he promised to be uniquely present to us when we do so (Mt. 18:20). This is because God is on a mission to restore humankind back to its original form, as image-bearers of the Triune God who is Love. There is no context more appropriate for God to cultivate our capacity for love than in small communities committed to speaking openly and honestly about the ways in which God’s Word touches our lives and our relationships most deeply.
- Branching Out in God’s World: Life Group gatherings provide the opportunity to help us become intentional about scattering by orienting our faith beyond the walls of the church. Sundays are kind of like weekly “conversation starters,” where we regularly regroup to be reminded who God is and who we are in light of the Gospel (since we regularly forget!) by communing in worship and sitting under God’s Word, so we can return to ordinary life and “continue the conversation” with the people who inhabit our Monday-through-Saturday ordinary world. That world is the biggest, and often most neglected, mission field in America! So Life Groups are an intentional first step in that direction, where we process together how God’s Word is speaking to us in particular ways through his Word, both written and proclaimed, and what it might look like to flesh out his Word in our everyday lives and relationships in the days that follow, branching out as witnesses for Christ in the world as we daily encounter it.
- Continue the Conversation: We have developed a sermon-based curriculum for Life Groups to use called “Continue the Conversation” (see above under “Branching Out…”). The basic suggested structure of our gatherings is as follows:
- Our World:we gather in homes, often around meals or snacks.
- My World: we check up on each other, catch up on ‘current events’ in local lives, to truly know others and be known.
- God’s Word: we have discussion questions prompted by the sermon, which is our “conversation starter,” and what we believe God might be saying to each of us in our particular contexts and what it might look like to flesh out his Word in our lives and relationships in the days ahead as we engage with believers and unbelievers alike.
- God’s World: we move to a time of prayer for one another according to the nature of the discussion.
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