Community Life Groups
Community Life Groups meet in homes throughout the week for fellowship, service, and hospitality.
At Grace Life Church we believe that our status in Christ should require a practical difference in our life and because of this we need community life groups to stir us up to love and good works (Hebrews 10:19-25). We gather in small Community Life Groups to support distinct gospel living in a shared gospel community for an intentional gospel commission.
Frequently Asked Questions
Simply put, the Gospel should have a distinct saltiness evidenced in our entire life as we live in community with one another in the world seeking to make disciples.
A people striving after the conviction based activity of every Christian speaking the Word of God to others both as we do life in and we do life out at every level of our walk, by the power of the spirit and in all of our practices, habits, interactions and weekly structures of life.
Grace Life Church encourages a weekly meeting under the groups predetermined format. Each group should strive to prioritize their schedules to be regular attenders during a given community life group semester. Additional life with life interaction is also encouraged as the rhythm of relationship and community are fostered within the group.
A semester is a pre-determined start and stop date for the community life group members to make commitments to, for regular participation. There usually is a fall, winter, spring and summer semester with dedicated breaks between. Each semester can range from 6 to 12 weeks long depending on time of year.
Each meeting should range from 1-2 hours depending on the predetermined group format. This time duration should be agreed upon at the beginning of each semester and striven to be fostered by the Community Life Group Leader and those within the individual group.
Grace Life Church believes that the main weekly meeting of community life groups is primarily for the body of Christ, those who profess and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Each community life group however should be purposeful in individual and group hospitality and discipleship outside of this time slot where believing seekers and non-believers are engaged. This may be a scheduled group event, a couple inviting someone new to the church or their neighbors into their homes for a meal, one on one discipleship or inviting someone to Sunday Morning Service.
It is recommended that the primacy of the meetings be balanced with fellowship, sharing/encouraging life out engagement, prayer and group/individual discipleship.
Fellowship offers a time for getting to know each other better, talking about your week or encouraging one another. This might also be a time where a snack or meal is shared together. Fellowship is also something that should be intentionally fostered outside of your planned weekly time slot.
Sharing and encouragement is a time when group members share praises, engagements and answers to prayer that have happened as part of the life out focuses of the group.
Groups pray together, focusing on praise for answered prayers, spiritual and physical needs, relationship and gospel opportunities, missionaries and elders at Grace Life.
Each meeting includes a group or individual discipleship time as the group discusses practical/application questions from the previous Sunday morning sermon or a topical book that is being read by the group. This also could be met through individual conversations during fellowship time. Overarching this is a time for practical application, critical thinking, and accountability. Some groups also have chosen to create individual men and/or women DNA type groups to foster more intentional discipleship and accountability.
Grace Life Church community groups are not meant to be Christian prisons, so we give great flexibility in shifting into a new community life group. Time slot, season of life, personal connection would all be very legitimate reasons for someone to transition to a new group assuming the group has an open slot. If you have a desire to switch, please communicate this directly to your community life group leader and Nate Koenig.
Children are a blessing from the Lord and in light of the current demographics of the church; it is likely that each community life group is going to face difficulties in ensuring the intended meeting time functions. This will require creative and sacrificial support amongst the members of the community life group. The following are suggestions for groups that have a quiver full:
- Hire a capable child sitter so that all adults can participate.
- Use technology (If you chose this option, make sure the format is approved by all parents)
- If you have a large group, rotate moms or couple watching each week.
- Coordinate child watching with another community life group who meets on a different night.
- Consider a men’s and women’s group format for a couple of your meeting times per month. This could be organized on same group time night only with rotation, different nights or a single night option of hour 1 (Spouse 1), 30 minute travel buffer, hour 2 (spouse 2).
- No matter which arrangement your group chooses the children should not be thought of as a burden, with this said, the control needs should require a purposeful approach so that the primary intent of the community group is not diminished.
It is also important to monitor the safety of the children during your community life group time. Each family has different tolerances for what they deem safe and appropriate activities. Uncontrolled unsupervised environments are also important watch-outs for children. It is best to talk with all parents within the group to get common agreement on what is best for your group’s children.
Breaks are afforded for several reasons. This includes a time of rejuvenation for the community life group leader and host. We use this time to survey and assess each group from the members and leaders perspective as well as provide a healthy outlet for group participation shifts and new groups to be installed.
It is likely that as relationships are formed, that there will be a desire to continue to meet and live life together. This is healthy and right and we would not discourage these activities. With this said, we would caution a group from setting a rigid requirement upon the leader, host or its members surrounding the normal functions of group during these breaks.
- Covenant Member of Grace Life Church
- Display the characteristics of a maturing, Christ-like, servant-leader found in the Bible. (See Mark 10:45, 1 Thessalonians. 2:7–8, Luke 22:26, 1 Peter 4:10–11, and John 15: 12–17.)
- Is able to articulate the Gospel
- Has previously participated in a Community Life Group
- Ability to both challenge and encourage others in their walk with the Lord
- Humble demeanor and teachable spirit; consistent, reliable and organized
- Solid reputation (above reproach) inside and outside the church
- Good verbal skills and possesses the ability to communicate with warmth and graciousness in such a way that is clear and understandable
- Ability to lead 4-7 couples/families
All group leaders agree to:
- Submit to the shepherding and oversight of Grace Life Council of Elders
- Support the mission and ministries of Grace Life Church
- Agree to lead in accordance with the Grace Life Affirmation of Faith
- Willing to be judged with greater strictness as a leader
- Know, care for and lead a community life group toward growth as disciples of Jesus
- Facilitate weekly meeting times with fellowship, prayer/praise, discipleship time
- Foster broader group discussion, hospitality and service
- Maintain group information, contact lists, clear communication and safe places to gather
- Create a culture that fosters one-on-one discipleship with new and nonbelievers
- Develop future community life group leaders by example
- Encourage people to become committed members of the church and, through influence, work to assist them in practicing basic Biblical disciplines (attendance, Bible reading, and proper leadership in their homes).
- Delegate or encourage broader participation of some of these responsibilities