By: Audra Blake
There are a lot of details to figure out when you start a LifeGroup. Who is going to come? Where will it be? What will you talk about? How will you keep people coming? What will you feed them? The list goes on, and it can be overwhelming. It might even prevent you from starting a LifeGroup altogether. The good news is, you’re not on your own! For just about every question you have about starting a LifeGroup, there is an answer, and we’re here to help.
Q: Why start a LifeGroup?
A: As much as I would like to think I can get by on my own, I have found that I do much better in community. And not just any community, but the right community.
Q: Who do I invite to my LifeGroup?
A: When I started my LifeGroup, it was because I had recently moved to start a new job. I hadn’t found my community yet. So, I started looking for people who were in the same situation. If I heard of someone who was new to town or who had recently started a new job, I invited them to join me! That’s a good strategy to use to fill your LifeGroup, too. If you don’t know who to invite, think about other people who may be in your situation. Maybe you’re a single mom, so you think of other single moms to invite. Maybe you’re starting college in a new town, so you invite people from your classes. If you’re having a hard time figuring out where you fit in, use your LifeGroup to welcome others who need a place to belong. Chances are, whatever reason you had for wanting to start a LifeGroup is the same reason another person wants to be in one.
Q: Where will we meet?
A: There are lots of places to have LifeGroup! The most obvious choice is to invite people to meet at your home. Your home is a great place to make people feel welcome and like they are part of your family. If it’s not possible to have people meet at your home, see if someone else in your group would like to host. There are some people who were born to host and would be more than happy to welcome your group. If not, think of the spaces around town that you like to be in and would be happy sharing with friends, such as coffee shops, restaurants, ice cream shops, etc. Those places could all make wonderful locations for LifeGroup.
Q: What will we do?
A: It took a little while to figure out what format worked best for my LifeGroup. Ultimately, we landed on snacks and conversation while people arrived, an icebreaker game, devotional time, prayer time, and hang out time, in that order. That’s what worked best for us most of the time. We also left it open to change it up. Occasionally, we would simply have a meal together, sometimes we worshiped together with music, and sometimes we played a game. We also would change things up if we knew someone new was coming, making sure to include time for them to get to know us and feel welcome. Whatever way makes the most sense for your group is the best way to do it. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right on the first try. There will be some awkward starts, and that’s okay! It doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it just helps you narrow down what works best for your group. Additionally, you don’t have to figure it out on your own! Talk to your group about ideas they may have and let their suggestions steer how you format your time together.
Q: What will we talk about?
A: If you’re looking for something to talk about as a LifeGroup, a great place to start is the Talk It Over guide available here. It’s a guide designed to help your group review the current weekend message and discuss it together. Aside from that, there are lots of studies available that may cater more specifically to your group, such as this women’s study from Amy Groeschel, this young adult study from Collective, or Wild Life for men. You can find all of Life.Church’s LifeGroup studies at www.life.church/media/lifegroups
In my LifeGroup, we simply read one chapter of the Bible together each week. After that, we would discuss what it taught us about God and how to apply it. You may want to get together just to pray. That’s great, too! Whether you are a gifted teacher or prefer to follow a guide, there are resources available for you and your group!
Q: What if I get in over my head?
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG
A: If God has called you to start a LifeGroup, He will equip you to lead it. You’re not alone in leading. The Holy Spirit will guide your conversation, so pray about what God might have you share in group, and trust Him to give you the wisdom you need when you ask for it (James 1:5).
It’s not all on you, either! Just because you’re the leader doesn’t mean you’re the only person with input. Ask your group to help host, come up with studies, plan the night, or keep everyone organized. Share the responsibility so that everyone in your group gets an opportunity to learn and grow.
Bottom line: Starting a LifeGroup can seem intimidating, but you have everything you need to live out what God has called you to do. And if you need help, reach out to your Community Leader or your LGLM team. They’ve got your back, and they will help you find solutions to anything you face. Enjoy the process of finding your community—your group very well might be the answer to someone else’s prayer for friends.