Last Updated on July 9, 2022 by Rocklyn Clarke
Life Group Relaunch: As of September 2021, Life Church has re-launched our life groups!
- 1 What is a cell church?
- 2 What is a life group?
- 3 Where are we in our life group relaunch?
- 4 What are life groups like?
- 5 What else should I know about life groups?
- 6 Visitors
- 7 Finding a Group
- 8 Leading a Life Group
- 9 Life Group Meetings
- 10 Life Group Goals
- 11 Revisions
- 12 Life Group / Cell Ministry Resources (for your convenience)
Life Church is a cell church. In cell churches, in addition to meeting on Sundays, the congregation meets in small groups called cells during the week. At Life Church we call these life groups.
- What is a cell church? – Joel Comiskey Group
- 3 Keys for Successful Small Group-based Churches: Principles that Fruitful Cell Church Pastors Apply – YouTube (00:05:34)
By organizing into life groups we minimize that chance that people will “fall through the cracks”.
Life groups also provide us with a practical way of “seeking first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness”. As we learned from our Following Jesus: Family Up module, God’s Kingdom begins with following Jesus and includes everyone who follows Jesus. If you are not genuinely connected to followers of Jesus, you are not seeking God’s Kingdom.
A life group is a group of 3 – 15 believers who come together weekly outside of the church building for evangelism, community, and spiritual growth with the goal of making disciples who make disciples. As its members win people to Christ and turn them into disciples, the life group itself grows until it needs to multiply into more than one group in order to maintain the size of 3 – 15 that preserves intimacy.
At Life Church, we do discipleship for busy people! Our life groups are an extremely important part of the way we carry out our mission:
- Life groups provide members with a safe setting in which they can learn to enjoy knowing Jesus without fear, inadequacy, guilt, or shame.
- Life groups give members an opportunity to become a family as they follow Jesus.
- Life group members learn how to function together as Jesus’ body by making their gifts available to one another.
- Life group members learn to work together to expand Jesus’ kingdom by reaching out to the unchurched (people who have not been to a church for the past 6 months other than for a wedding or a funeral).
Here are some more resources that describe our approach to cell ministry:
- What is a Cell Group? – Joel Comiskey Group
- More Important than the Name of the Small Group: Defining a Life-Giving Small Group – YouTube (00:05:25)
- The Best Small Group Order: Introducing the 4Ws – YouTube (00:04:45)
Life Groups vs. Cliques
Without life groups, we are at the mercy of cliques and people who aren’t in a clique will “fall through the cracks”. Furthermore, even the people who are in cliques will have some of their issues and needs “fall through the cracks”. This is because life groups are organized to please, and be led by the Holy Spirit, whereas cliques develop solely around whatever the people in the cliques find appealing. Life groups are organized to help you grow and overcome your “issues”; cliques simply aren’t!
Our Life Groups Are As Important As Our Sunday Services
Our Sunday services and our life groups are equally important components of the ministry of Life Church. Our Sunday services provide corporate worship, a transcendent experience of God, and biblical instruction from trained teachers. Our life groups provide intimacy and a chance to process Sunday’s instruction in community. They also provide an environment conducive to discipleship. Because our life groups are the cutting edge of our discipleship, everything we do should promote their health and growth. This means that our Sunday sermons will be structured to support the discussions that take place in the life groups.
- The Cell-Driven Church: Growing the Church from the Inside-out – Joel Comiskey Group
Where are we in our life group relaunch?
- January 2021: We re-organized our life groups around individual virtual check-ins by life group leaders and monthly group meetings via Zoom.
- July 2021: We reshuffled the designated life group members into 2 ongoing groups.
- September 2021: We made the following changes:
- We dropped the Bible study portion of our Sunday services.
- We shortened our sermons so that worship and sermon are now usually completed between 10:30am and 11:30am.
- We began breaking up into life groups immediately after the sermon to discuss the sermon passage.
What are life groups like?
Life groups ensure that they deal with the whole person every time that they meet. They care for the emotional, relational, spiritual and ministerial needs of every participant. During the meeting the life group members seek to express Jesus Christ as members of his body.
These groups normally have no set end date, but they may take regularly scheduled breaks (e.g. summer vacation). They continue to meet on an ongoing basis and evolve as new participants join the group and the group eventually multiplies in order to maintain an intimate environment for it’s members.
Life groups will generally be led by a leader and an assistant. As the group grows through the groups Spirit-led outreach (fueled in part by the activities in the “Witness” section of the weekly meetings), the leaders and assistant will typically multiply the group using one of the following two approaches:
- The leader and the assistant will each take approximately half of the group and begin 2 “daughter” life groups. Each new group will then select a new assistant who has already had practice helping to lead the “mother” group.
- The leader and assistant may instead choose to two new trainees begin assuming overall responsibility for the group. At the appropriate time, the two new trainees will take half of the group and the original leaders will take the other half. This will often be the policy when the group is lead by a husband-wife team.
What else should I know about life groups?
Life Group Lifestyle – Making Room For Life
In order to implement an effective life group ministry, we have to pursue compatible lifestyles. The following books will give you some ideas about adjusting your lifestyle to promote cell ministry:
In addition, Randy Frazee recorded a series of videos on the subject. You can view them here:
Making Room For Life – Randy Frazee
The videos seem to be arranged in a different order on this web site, but I have presented them below in the order that most closely matches the sections and chapters of the book.
- The Problem: Squeezing Living out of Life | Oak Hills Church (00:30:27)
- The Solution: Restructuring Our Relationships and Time | Oak Hills Church (00:32:34)
- The Obstacles: Overcoming Bad Habits and Myths About Raising Children | Oak Hills Church (00:31:19)
- Making Room For Life For Moms | Oak Hills Church (00:31:04)
- How To’s: Practical Steps to Making Room For Life | Oak Hills Church (00:24:29)
- How To’s: Discovering the Convivium | Oak Hills Church (00:27:50)
Life groups may be single gender or mixed. They may comprise people from a common background (e.g. students, police, teachers, people in recovery, people in a particular neighborhood, etc.) or people from diverse backgrounds.
Groups will normally be open to new members but they may be closed for a limited amount of time (this will normally not exceed one year).
It’s very important for life group members to be able to keep in touch with one another! The following resources will help you to do so:
This is our online database of member name, address, email, phone, and giving information. It also contains group assignments. If you’ve donated to us in the past, you have already been entered into e-Life, but you won’t be able to view your giving or other information unless you register yourself. If you’re registered, then whenever you login to e-Life, your life group and any other ministry groups you belong will be displayed under the “MY GROUPS” column. Please make sure that you are registered in e-Life and that your information is up to date!
Life Group E-Mail List
Each life group has an e-mail list that members can use to e-mail the entire group. Check out our e-Mail Lists page for more information. Make sure that your life group leaders have added you to your list!
Once you’re registered in e-Life and you’ve logged in, lookup the contact information of your fellow life group members and add them to your personal contacts so that you can easily contact them throughout the week.
We strongly encourage everyone at Life Church to get involved in a life group!
Life Group Meetings & Ground Rules
Life Groups should establish ground rules for so that members have a common understanding of how the group functions and so that everyone will experience the group as safe space. You can read more about life group meetings (e.g. ground rules, schedule, format, and location) on our Life Group Meetings page.
Life Group Lifecycle
Groups will generally meet until they become too large for intimacy (i.e. more than 15 members). At that point they split into two daughter life groups.
Visiting a life group is a good way to get to know us better and find out if Life Church is the right church for you. We hope that you’ll want to come back! We normally don’t place any particular limit on how often you can visit an open group, but there are some exceptions:
- If you are a member of another congregation, we will generally ask you to stop visiting after a month’s time. This is because participating in our life groups places you under our pastoral care and this is not appropriate for someone who is already being pastored elsewhere.
- If you are unable to submit to the group’s leadership in the conduct of its meetings, we will ask you to stop participating.
You can find a group to visit by:
- Visiting our Sunday service and asking to speak with one of our life group leaders.
- Contacting us by phone or email to request a visit.
Leading a life group is a privilege and a wonderful way to serve the Lord, your congregation, and people in general. You can learn more about leading a life group on our Life Group Leadership Page:
Volunteer to Help Your Life Group Leader
The resources above will should be helpful to prospective life group leaders, but one of the best ways that you can prepare for life group leadership is by volunteering to help lead a portion of your life group meetings. Checkout the “Life Group Meetings” section below for more information about how to do this!
Life Group Meetings
You can read more about life group meetings on our Life Group Meetings page.
Life Group Goals
We have goals for both life group members and life group leaders. You can read more about them on our Life Group Goals page.
01/12/2012 – updated to reflect our revised vision, mission, and core values
04/22/2012 – updated to include questions to be answered by prospective life group leaders
01/29/2021 – updated to reflect our latest re-launch of life groups.
10/09/2021 – updated to reflect our latest life group re-launch status.
10/22/2021 – updated to add common life group resources block at the bottom of the page.