Faith PCA Life Groups
“Where God’s Grace and Life Intersect”
Essential Elements of Life Group Ministry
1. Interactive Bible Study
Since we have a high view of Scripture we must also have a high view of applying Scripture to our lives (James 1:22)! Though Faith Church is actively committed to the proclamation of God’s Word in the pulpit and the Sunday school class, we also believe that the truths of Scripture must be actively applied to daily living. This can occur during a sermon or SS lesson but is best accomplished in the context of interpersonal relationships. In a small group setting, you can ask questions, participate in the discussion of the text, and hear others share helpful insights and illustrations of the truth you are trying to grasp, as you apply specific parts of the Word to your life.
2. Reclaiming Biblical Fellowship
We often think of ‘fellowship’ as Christians having conversation together while eating snacks. True fellowship goes beyond this. In the New Testament, the phrase ‘one another’ is used to describe our relationship to other believers. We are instructed to love one another, encourage one another, pray for one another, forgive one another, bear one another’s burdens and build one another up in Christ. A small group is a natural setting for to practice these commands and develop Christ-centered friendships where people can speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Each group becomes a community of disciples pointing others to the “Wonderful Counselor.” In this sense, the experience of true fellowship is a means of grace. It helps to know that other people are facing similar struggles, have lived through these experiences and see tangible spiritual growth in the process.
3. Growth in Prayer
Some people may be hesitant to lead others in prayer during our worship services because of the large number of people in attendance. In our Life Goups you will learn to pray in the midst of a much smaller community and you’ll find others praying for the same things the Biblical writers prayed for. No one is forced to pray, but as you grow in your relationships with others, you’ll soon be able join others in prayer as the group goes before God’s throne of grace.
4. Comfort for the Sufferer
All of us carry around a backpack of trials, stress, pressure, suffering, blessing and successes. Jeremiah 17 calls this “the heat.” We often feel alone when we face “trials of many kinds” (James 1) even in the midst of a community of believers. Home Groups can provide a place where you can give and receive clear help and wisdom. You can be reminded that “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1) truly cares for you. Practical needs can be addressed and met, such as a meal, a drive to the airport or child-care. Many people at Faith Church can testify that their life situation would be more difficult were it not for the wise counsel and tangible support given by others in the church, and specifically in their Life Group.
5. Witness to the Community
Some of your friends would never attend a corporate worship service, but they may be open to attending a Life Group. Life Groups may be the best “on ramp” for a vibrant relationship to Christ and his church. In a Life Group, your friend can ask questions and express honest doubts without feeling “put on the spot” or judged. Maybe your friend will see biblical love and honesty in action, so that, by God’s grace, he/she will trust in the finished work of Christ.
6. Leaders Developed
Every believer in Christ is given certain spiritual gifts to benefit others in the community (Ephesians 4). Yet many Christians tend to be spectators in the life of the church because large group meetings, such as corporate worship, are ‘sit and watch/learn’ situations. As you grow together with others in a Life Group you will notice that the Lord is using you in ways you never imagined.
7. Not a Program…but a Lifestyle
Faith Church does not see small groups as a program but rather a biblical lifestyle where we grow in God’s grace together. God has designed the church to function so that pastors “equip the saints for the work of the ministry.” The book of Acts shows that as spiritual growth & maturity takes place in the context of the local church, the challenge to minister effectively to everyone increases. Faith Church could never hire enough pastoral staff to meet all the personal needs in our church family. Life Groups can equip God’s people for personal ministry in an impersonal and mechanical world.
8. Change in Community
God has established the church as a community and it is in this context where gospel-driven Christ-centered change takes place. God has providentially placed you with people so that you will be reminded of the gospel which is the “power of God for salvation of everyone who believes”(Romans 1:16). Are you taking advantage of the rich, daily resources that are yours because you are part of the community at Faith Church?
1. What is the purpose of a Life Group? Our church’s overall purpose is “to proclaim Christ so that lives are transformed and God is glorified.” Our Life Groups support this purpose by fostering genuine, Biblical fellowship in a small group setting.
2. What is our vision for Life Groups? Our church’s vision is to “make maturing and equipped disciples who are vibrantly living the Gospel so that our whole world is transformed.” This vision is specifically lived out in our Life Groups as people apply the Gospel to their lives and grow in deeper relationships with each other.
3. How often do the group meet? Most Life Groups meet every other week on Sunday afternoons or Sunday evenings, though some meet more often. Our desire is to fulfill Hebrews 10:24 which says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
4. How can I join a Life Group? There are several ways to join a group. You may receive a personal invitation to visit a group meeting. Or, through conversation with someone at Faith, may you discover they are part of a Life Group. If you would like to attend their Life Group, ask the person and they will contact their Life Group leader who will be in touch with you. You can contact a Life Group leader directly (see list below). Maybe you would like to start a group yourself. If you have any questions about this ministry, call Pastor Sam at the church office (717.786.7559)