lifeGroup ReBoot Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why are we rebooting our lifeGroup ministry?
Several things have led us to this point. We lost our lifeGroup Leadership Director position two years ago and feel our lifeGroup ministry needs to be re-energized. Further, this seemed to be the take-away from our lifeGroup listening session held at the church earlier this year. At the heart of this effort is the goal of encouraging and enabling every church member to enjoy the benefits of being in a lifeGroup. It is one of three key strategies to help our members live out their faith and advance our mission of connecting people to life in Jesus.
2. So, I've never been in a lifeGroup. Why should I join one now?
Belonging to a small group of believers is important to our faith journey. It allows us to develop close relationships and live authentic Christ-centered lives; lifeGroups pray together, study the Word, and love on each other. Try it - you'll love it!
3. When does lifeGroup rebooting start?
Our goal is to have any new groups start meeting in January 2019. However there is a process currently underway to recruit new leaders and encourage those not currently in a lifeGroup to join one. We will begin to share more information this month (October 2018). On October 14th we will explain how you may opt out of being in a lifeGroup or opt in to stay with your existing lifeGroup.
4. I've heard that lifeGroups must meet every week, take turns hosting dinner, go on prayer walks, and canvas their neighborhood to find unchurched people - is all this true?
No - while some of these things are occurring in some lifeGroups, it is not mandatory for any lifeGroup. For example, some lifeGroups have stopped including dinners. Some meet in the same home every week, some rotate among homes, and some meet at church. Other groups do not meet during Lent or Advent, or even over the summer. Although regular meetings are an important ingredient in developing trusting relationships, meeting weekly may not work for all people. Additionally, prayer walks and other outreach activities are simply not required. We want to encourage flexibility and freedom so that all may participate.
5. How are you planning to get more church members in lifeGroups?
We hope that people will see the value of being in a lifeGroup when they hear stories of successful lifeGroups and how participants enjoy each other's company and attend to one another in times of need. You will see these stories in October and November 2018. We feel lifeGroups are extremely important, and the vast majority of people who try it love it. So if you're not currently in a lifeGroup, find out what you're missing and join one.
6. How do I join a lifeGroup?
On Sunday, October 14th, we will explain how we're going to do this. It will be discussed at both worship services and you will receive an email as well. We have a committee who will assign church members to lifeGroups based on geography and the preferences you indicate as to which days of the week are best for you. You will be assigned to a lifeGroup unless you opt out.
7. So everyone at church will be assigned to a new lifeGroup?
Yes, but only if you don't opt out of lifeGroup or you opt to stay in your current group. We are simply trying to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to be included in a group. Compare it to your 401K at work where the employer will take 3% of your wages out as your 401K contribution unless you opt out of 401K participation. They do that to encourage a base level of participation because it is important to save for retirement. lifeGroups are also important. But you clearly have the freedom to do as you please. You may opt to stay in your current group, opt out of any lifeGroup assignment, or if you choose neither option we will assign you to a group.
8. Are we reshuffling lifeGroups?
We are hoping to create new lifeGroups since it's easier to join a group when everyone is new. But we are not forcing existing lifeGroups to reshuffle. If a current group and its leader(s) want to stay together, that option is available. You could also add new members to your existing group. You should talk about this with your leader(s).
9. What if I want to stay in my current lifeGroup?
This option will be available and the methodology for choosing this option will be explained on October 14th.
10. Are we trying to simplify lifeGroups?
Yes we are. At the listening sessions some lifeGroups felt that there were too many things in the lifeGroup "box" and it was hard to accomplish them all. We are trying to reduce expectations and increase flexibility. We will no longer stress the four Ws (Welcome, Worship, Word, Witness), and will instead simply focus on Prayer, Word, and Love. We want to communicate the freedom groups have to make their gatherings work for them. We will also provide ongoing assistance for our leaders.
11. How are you planning to assist lifeGroup leaders?
We will provide Sunday's scripture reading in advance and will provide leaders with detailed, thoughtful questions for lifeGroup discussion, unless the leader wants to facilitate the discussion using other materials. lifeGroups always have the flexibility to cover other topics or find other ways to be in the Word. Additionally, we will reinstate regular leader meetings and use social media to share ideas and concerns with leaders.
12. What's a summary of the changes being made to our lifeGroup ministry?
In an effort to increase participation in lifeGroups we are:
- Simplifying (focus on Word, Prayer, and Love)
- Adding flexibility and freedom
- Providing ongoing help for leaders
- Recruiting additional leaders
- Publicly emphasizing this small-group ministry