Proverbs 27:17 (NIV) “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
At The Oak we want to be a gathering of ‘disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus’. Where are you being fed, and where are you feeding others?
Life groups are a place of care and pastoral support as we share life together, disciple each other, grow in God, and get stuck into the mission God has for us. They are simply groups of two or three people who gather regularly to build friendship, encourage each other in their relationships with God and pray together. As friendship grows we get to a place where we feel safe to tackle the deep stuff. Is your life group somewhere you feel able to be vulnerable and share openly? Have you built good foundations, knowing you share a desire to see each other thrive in your faith as you lift each other to Jesus, so you can ask the big questions of each other?
How are each of you investing in your life with God and encouraging each other in this? What are the things that are stopping you from having a deep hunger for God? Where is there growth to celebrate with each other?
Importantly Life Groups should be a place with a heart for mission. When we first brought some guidance on life groups, we were encouraged to identify three people that we would commit to praying regularly for. Praying for these people to discover how loved they are by God, and for God’s equipping in whatever role He has in mind for us to play in that process. Do you still have a list? Do you know your life group buddy’s? If not- well let’s do that this week!
Preparing this, made me realise we have got out of this habit in our life group. It was great to refocus and pray together for specific people this week. Who are you praying for and investing time in?
We are running the race together. Your life group are your training partners. Hebrews has a lot to say about doing community well 3 v 13 “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” and 10 v 24 says “Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.” a little encouragement goes a long way. Try to find an opportunity to connect with your life group partner(s) today to encourage and motivate them.
Finally if your life group isn’t leaving you wanting to reach others for the gospel and desiring to be changed more into His likeness, it’s time for a shake-up. Sometimes loving each other means having an awkward discussion. Would bringing in a little more structure help you? Might trying something different or a new resource breathe a bit of life back in? There are lots of great life groups that all have a very different feel, but still gather around the principles above. Perhaps ask other people what has helped them in their life group, might that work for yours? If you’ve tried changing things up or the things that help each of you are vastly different, perhaps it’s time to end one season of life group and start another. As church our heart is for everyone to find space to grow, and sometimes that means being lovingly released to try something new.
So today pray for those you are in life group with, and if you’re not in a life group, spend some time asking God who you should connect with.
Pray our life groups would be marked by openness, vulnerability and humility.
Make yourself a list of people to be praying for, that we would see our life groups grow and multiply.
Pray about giving your life group a health check, to maximise all the amazing things God’s wanting to do through you.