Life Groups

1 05 2010

Life Groups

At City Bible Church Baltimore, we want to help you get connected with life giving relationships. You can be better connected with God and with other people. You may hear one of us say, “Nobody stands alone.” We believe that we are all wired for relationship. No one is designed to be lonely. You don’t have to be alone anymore.

Each of us has a next step to take in growth. At City Bible Church Baltimore, we can introduce you to someone, or a group of people, who can help you take that next step. We have “Life Groups” who meet in homes for a variety of reasons. We’ll help you find the focus you’re looking for. You may find life-long friends or a small group that discuss a topic or a book for a few weeks. We grow together. Daily life is better. Our families, our work, and our homes are better as we grow in how we pray and how we learn from the Bible.

We are thrilled to have Life Group Leaders who live in a variety of neighborhoods around the city. We would love to help you find a group that will work for you. Thankfully, none of our leaders have it all figured out. Each one knows what it means to need help. We believe that church is not an event to attend on the weekend. We believe that church works when we share life.

We would love to help you find a Life Group!

 

Small Groups: Share Life in Life Groups

No perfect people allowed: anyone can come regardless of where they are in their spiritual journey.  Feel free to take one step at a time.  “No Perfect People Allowed” John Burke.

Remember our Church Vision…each activity should move to each of “Our Big 3”:

  • Connect with Christ  (weekend services)
  • Grow in Christ  (small groups)
  • Share Christ  (serve by sharing)

What is a “Win”?

A mature believer will express “connect, grow, share” by daily contact with Christ, weekly involvement with “big” and “small” meetings of believers, resulting in service (Our BIG 3).

We want people to grow in:

  • Intimacy with God
  • Community with Insiders
  • Influence with Outsiders

Above From “Creating Community”  Andy Stanley

We are called to build a “soul winning” church.

“a city where they could live,” Ps 107

Through Christ the church can be a “city within the city” and a “city that serves the city”!

There must be some Baltimore residents that don’t think it to be a “city where they could live”.

People need Jesus.  With Him they will find it:

“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.  I say to the Lord, You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you…The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you had my lot.  The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” Psalm 16:1-2,5-6

You see, we are called to build a soul winning church.  In my experience, God rarely draws in a harvest beyond the ability of local churches to reap it.  Billy Graham has often commented that number of “decision cards” was always in direct proportion to the number of trained volunteers and churches involved.

The small group expression of the local church is just as much a part of the “net” as the weekend services!

Often a small group is where the power found in the weekend service is expressed and brought to maturity.

It’s Biblical that God “inhabits the praises of His people”, and that we not “forsake the gathering of the believers”.  So we know that the weekend service provides an environment for people meet God.  And yet we need the gathering in homes to help make it real.  This enables us to share the struggles of growing in faith with each other.  This sort of candor is only possible when we’ve spent time talking, listening, laughing, crying, and praying together.  That sense of community only comes when we believe the other people are trustworthy and want to be with us.  This takes time and investment.

Each believer is a part of the “priesthood”.

1 Peter 2:9 “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

We are called to care for each other.

John 13:35  “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Do you love someone just because you attend an event together?

For many people in the US that’s exactly what church is, an event.

Do you love someone when you share life together?

Acts 2:46-47 “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Small groups may be called “Life Groups” because it should be where we “Share Life” or “Do Life Together”!

Sharing is being open with each other about the good and the bad of our reality.  This means food.  This means laughing, crying, talking, and listening.

Life is when our reality is met by His reality.  We help each other.  Then His life causes us to grow in faith through prayer for each other and discussing the Bible.

When we do Life together we:

  • Grow in life, love, and service.
  • Thrive in life, love, and service.
  • Release more life, love, and service.

That means that we really can live life to the full!

People who have a contagious passion for Christ and a love for family will live the good life.  No matter how broken their past.

Each Life Group should…

  • Share life: the good and the bad.
  • Pray for each other.
  • Discuss life and the Word.

We should birth many different varieties of Life Groups.  They should serve the people getting together.  They should work in tandem with the weekend services, not in place of.  They should motivate people to serve.

With all of the flexibility we want our Life Groups to have, we want to stay focused on the goal: Connect, Grow, Share and with the following values:

  • Life Change
  • Cultivate Relationships
  • Promote Participation
  • Replace Yourself
  • Provide Care
  • Multiply Influence

(with groups of 12, multiplying groups every 18 months impacts 1,536 in 10.5 years.)

from Andy Stanley

We will have Life Group coach training.  Each coach will always be looking for new coaches.  Each coach should always have at least one person in their group that they are mentoring to become a coach.

I can’t wait to kick off this part of our journey!

If you have questions on this topic please fee free to email me at bmalmin@gmail.com.

Please feel free to post stories of how a small group helped you!


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3 05 2010
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