We are committed to developing disciples who are growing in fellowship and service to their Christian brothers and sisters. One of the ways we foster this commitment is through the development of L.I.F.E. groups.
L.I.F.E. groups are a good place in church life where the “one another” passages of the bible can be carried out. In a sense, this makes L.I.F.E. groups, or community groups, a “contrived necessity.” Contrived in the sense that genuine community is organic and flows out of an individual's understanding and application of the gospel. Real relationships aren't organized or programmed, and L.I.F.E. groups will never replace genuine, godly relationships.
But, by God's grace, they will provide the context for those relationships to begin to develop around the gospel. So, they are also a necessity in the sense that in our day and age, we live in an increasingly fractured world where most people have little experience with “whole” relationships. Divorced homes, commercialism, the automobile, and modernism have all contributed to a culture where we are less dependent on each other and more individually oriented. We need to be put in a context where our lives mesh together.
L.I.F.E. groups can become the primary place where lives are known and shared, where wounds are exposed and healed, and where burdens are revealed and carried. When a member of the L.I.F.E. group is in the hospital, the L.I.F.E. group rallies around that individual and their family. When someone’s life is falling apart, the members of the L.I.F.E. group should become aware of it long before anyone else does and should begin to apply God's word in a way that encourages, teaches, rebukes, and trains for righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). When a family has a death, the L.I.F.E. group is able to plan to help with the extra expenses of a trip home and the emotional care of losing someone close. The end result is that God's people are learning that the truths of his Word and the promises of the gospel are genuine and real. These truths apply to the reality of their lives, and they begin to see them fleshed out in a way that promotes genuine gospel living.
We desire for our L.I.F.E. groups to be a place where we can LEARN together by studying the scriptures and inquiring how the gospel applies to our daily lives. Since prayer is what unites us around God's throne, L.I.F.E. groups provide a place where we can INTERCEDE through prayer for one another. They also provide opportunities for FELLOWSHIP with others by sharing time and our needs, bearing one another's burdens, and encouraging one another. Lastly, L.I.F.E. groups provide us the opportunity to live in an EXTERNAL manner by investing in the lives of those in our community (neighbors, co-workers, and friends) through sharing the love of Christ and extending mercy to those in need.