Monday, January 10, 2011

LIFE Groups at EMBC

Our church is starting a new ministry called LIFE Groups and Gene gets to head it up. He is so excited to do something a little different and to plan something from the ground up.

LIFE Groups are basically home Bible study groups that meet in a home, restaurant, coffee shop, or at the church.

The purpose of LIFE groups is found right in the name:
Learning God's Word and living it out together.
Intentional outreach as we continually invite the unsaved to join a group.
Fellowship as we build meaningful relationships together.
Encouragement as we grow, serve, and do life together.

The goal is to see God working in the lives of the saved and the unsaved as these groups come to LIFE throughout the Prattville, Millbrook, and Deatsville area (and beyond if God so wills). LIFE groups are not to take the place of the corporate worship service, nor are they intended to take the place of current Sunday School classes. The goal is to simply expand our small group Bible studies throughout our communities, to invite unsaved people, and to give more options to our members.

If you are a member of EMBC, I want to encourage to get involved. You can either host a group in your home or you can teach a group....or both. Some people have the gift of hospitality but would never teach a Bible study. Others have the gift of teaching, but cleaning their house or preparing a "dessert" would stress them out. Some people could do both of these well.

Of course, everyone will not host or teach. We need group members who will come and soak up the Word. Getting plugged into a small group is so vital to your faith. Sunday morning worship, once a week, is not going to grow you into a vibrant Christian or inspire you to live for God. It is in those small group settings like Sunday School and home Bible study groups where you truly experience community. When you experience community, you experience growth in your Christian walk, you move forward in your life change, and you stay for the long haul. To continue in your growth with Christ you HAVE to be around other people who are growing in Christ. That is just how the deeper impact happens.

LIFE Groups can be any size. Your group might have 6, 12, or 20. The goal, however, is to continually grow and then create a new group from an existing group. Once a home gets too crowded, we would love to see a couple from that group step up as new leaders, starting a new group in a different location, and then grow it until it becomes too crowded for its location, and on and on it would go.

Our desire is to have groups meeting in neighborhoods all over the area, with lost people in those neighborhoods being invited to those groups, being introduced to Jesus, seeing faith lived out, and getting saved. We would also love to see groups becoming very mission minded, ministering to needs right in their neighborhoods.

Gene is currently working on a LARGE list of Bible study ideas. Your group might walk through a book of the Bible, or maybe be a "book club", reading a book like Radical or Crazy Love, or maybe work through a Bible study by a trusted Christian author. The sources are almost limitless.

The meeting time and night or day of the week your group meets is totally up to each group. We would love to have groups meeting every single night of the week so there are lots of options for our church body to choose from. A few people have already said that Sunday nights would be perfect since we no longer have evening services.

The most exciting thing to me is that we already have 10 leaders ready to teach with more people praying about the option. That is a pretty good foundation.

Gene and I are so excited....have I used the word "excited" enough in this post ? We are praying for God to do a new thing through this new ministry at EMBC. Pray with me and get involved!

Until next time...

2 comments:

  1. A lot of churches are doing this now, ours has been doing this for a while now, they are called CONNECT groups with the intent of connecting everyone. We were apart of one for a little while, but the time didn't work for us when Brian got his new job, and we are still trying to find one. Hope it all works out well. This seems to be very popular right now and a great way to get everyone involved.

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