How do random people end up as friends? Do the people in my LifeGroup feel like they belong? What does it mean to belong? When I really open up, does it feel like too much? Or maybe I’m not sharing enough? How do other LifeGroups get started? How do they grow?
You might be the LifeGroup leader, but you’re not the only person in your LifeGroup asking these questions. Whether you’re a new LifeGroup or you’ve been meeting for years, part of the reason you get together is because you’re all looking for a place to belong. Yup, that word again. Leadership author, Simon Sinek says, “The most basic human desire is to feel like you belong.” And we do whatever Simon says, right? Seriously though, Simon is on to something.
The Apostle Paul was a little ahead of Sinek. He was writing to small church groups not unlike LifeGroups when he wrote Romans 12:4-5 NLT.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
Okay, we’re all different, and we all belong. But how do we do that? Researcher and author, Brené Brown writes, “True belonging is not passive. It’s not the belonging that comes with just joining a group. It’s not fitting in or pretending or selling out because it’s safer. It’s a practice that requires us to be vulnerable …”
There it is. Belonging is not passive; it’s active. It’s actively being the part of the body that we are, and in doing so, vulnerably showing our true selves. Honestly, all this belonging is starting to sound a little scary, isn’t it? It doesn’t have to.
Like you, we wanted to discover ingredients of a great LifeGroup. We had questions, too. How do you turn strangers into the best of friends? How can existing LifeGroups grow deeper in following Christ together? So, we brought together seven random people, most of whom had never met, into a home they’d never been to before, to find out what really works. We thought: If this group can do it, your group can do it.
This group did it, but I won’t spoil it for you. What we found is stunning, but crazy simple. As the group met, we got it all on video and made it into a 4-week LifeGroup experience and Bible Plan. This content is perfect for any group in any stage of relationship. But I’m warning you, it will make you closer. You will discover how to belong together with vision and purpose to grow as friends!
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of Belong.
Watch the videos (together or apart). The gold is in the videos. But that doesn’t mean you have to watch them together. Some groups watch the videos in the Bible Plan during the week and then just share conversation, Scripture, and prayer when they gather. Others watch the videos together and then jump into sharing. It’s totally up to your group.
Read the Bible Plan together. The Bible Plan will include the videos and some extra Scriptures and content that you won’t get if you don’t use it. When you do read it, use the Plans with Friends feature and share what you’re discovering throughout the week.
Give the gift of going second. When you open up and share vulnerably first, you give everyone else in your group the gift of going second. There will be lots of opportunity for that as you go through Belong.