Updated: Nov 2, 2021
Sunday morning, our elders announced and discussed a new aspiration to lead our church in Life Groups. This is a new endeavor to strengthen the body and open doors for reaching the lost. It is not really a new idea; its roots are in the foundations of the early church.
For a long time now, most of us who have continued going to church have gathered with larger groups on Sunday mornings. Although well-intended as a desire to have all congregants gathered in one place, it has not been the most productive for fellowship, relationship building, or evangelism. At the core of discipleship is close relationships. Those who have stuck around for a long time did so because of connections built outside of the walls. Meeting outside the church in homes and restaurants has been the bulk of what we could attribute to the body as it is today. However, in an ever-changing world, people are becoming less apt to meet in buildings and more concerned with building lifelong, stable relationships with others.
Growing up, I had an aversion to religious people and institutions. Not because of a bad experience, but because of the bad experiences of others. I had friends and family members who had unfavorable encounters with religious institutions due to hypocrisy and inconsistency. My mother and her brother grew up in the small community of South Lake Tahoe, California. Each Sunday, her family would attend the only Catholic church in their town. As they got older and continued attending church, they began to notice the behavior of certain people within their congregation. My uncle tells of several occasions of people he saw in church on Saturday morning and then at the nearby casino that night cheating on their spouse or doing something inappropriate. There are many stories like these in our world, some may be excuses, others may not be.
I say all that to tell you that most people with negative encounters with large religious organizations won't accept an invite to a church with people they know nothing about. But they are more likely to come to a home with someone they know. Small groups of Christians meeting in homes is more appealing to the religiously damaged than large church gatherings. Gathering with hundreds of people can be good, but it is not good for building relationships.
In January of 2022, we will be gathering people to join us in homes every week to build relationships, evangelism efforts, and disciples. It is an effort to revitalize the church's traditional approach to growth and connection. But it cannot be done with just a few people. We need action and involvement from everyone!
A Few Ways You Can Get Involved
#1 - Join a Group
Joining a group can and will deepen your relationship with your brothers and sisters. This is the most effective way for you to help. Here you will grow in your relationship with God and other like-minded people. Whatever stage of life you are in, we have a group for you.
#2 - Invite an Outsider
Maybe you have a friend or a family member you'd like to invite to church. Don't even worry about it. Just ask them to join your group. This is an effective way to bring the lost closer to Jesus. It opens doors for Bible study, questions, and conversation in a comfortable environment.
#3 - Help a Group Leader
There are many ways you can help. Joining a group is one way, contributing to the work is another. You can volunteer to help lead the discussion, bring food, or ask the group leader what they need from you to help make things go smoothly. Remember, this is a team effort, not a one-man show!
#4 - Encourage Your Brothers and Sisters
When you show up to your group, there will be plenty of opportunities to encourage a brother or sister. Life is hard, and we cannot do it without God or one another. Encouraging a brother or sister to join your group is a great way to do your part and build up the body!
I hope you will choose to participate in our effort to strengthen the body and build relationships that last for eternity. My prayer is that God will bless our efforts in reaching the lost and building a solid kingdom community for His body to thrive.
👇 Link To Sunday Mornings Video👇
Doing Life Together // Richard Brogan, Rusty Bolton, Larry Mapes