Moving from ROWS to CIRCLES
Building relationships is a key Biblical component of spiritual growth. We say it this way:
You can’t grow spiritually until you connect relationally.
Scripture describes the patterns of those early believers this way:
They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity…
A life group leader simply facilitates believers meeting together in a home for Bible Study and fellowship. There is no theological training required, no special skills or abilities needed. Just a willing heart to be used by God.
What A Leader Looks Like
A life group leader is passionate about God and about people. They are:
A baptized believer of character and integrity
A partner of The Orchard Church, supportive of the mission and vision
Committed to personal spiritual growth in themselves and their group
Eager for more leadership training, attending all VIP meetings and other leader meetings.
What A Group Looks Like
Home environment is WAY best, though it doesn't have to be the leader's home.
Weekly, on the same night/time
a “collaborative” meal
Use the Church Center app to report in just before your discussion begins
Message-based. Everyone has same level of prep. No experts required.
Weekly discussion guides are published on the Lifegroup Discussion tab of theorchard.life
Discussions should stay pertinent to the topic, but will delve deeper and deeper as the group grows together.
Prayer time together.
life group time goal: 90 minutes. It's a school night.
Delegate To Your Next Leader
As our groups grow, they multiply, and we are ALWAYS in need of new leaders. Currently, we only have capacity for 130 people to be in groups at this time, and many of our groups are busting at the seams!
Our next group leaders are in your group right now!
In my group, I never lead the discussion... I am always delegating it off to others, and it works great! They don't realize it, but I am training them up to be lifegroup leaders!
6 Success Tips
For your group
The 50/50 Success Ratio
Your group time should consist of about 50% social interaction, and 50% Bible Study/Discussion Questions.
Too much social, and you're a club. Too much Bible Study and your'e a class.
Keep this as an OVERALL mix, not an individual meeting mix. In other words, some nights your group will need more social time. Others, you will really need to charge deep into a spiritual topic. Be sensitive and go where God leads you, but aim to maintain the 50/50 ratio.
Pray For Your Group
I'm not just talking about praying IN your group, but take time outside your meeting time to pray FOR your group.
I pray for our group on Tuesdays before we meet, and I make other time to pray for individuals in my group during the week.
Keep In Touch All Week
Your goal here is to love others. In many ways, love=time.
Two ways I do this:
1. Our group maintains a closed Facebook group, where we communicate together.
2. As I am thinking about or praying for group members, I will shoot a text to say hey, or to ask how things are going.
You Aren't The Star
You also aren't the teacher, the lecturer, or the keynote speaker. Your job is to host and to facilitate discussion. If you're the one doing most of the talking, something might be wrong!
Turn The Dang Lights On!
ESPECIALLY during the darker winter months, make sure the exterior of your home is well lit for people to arrive. A dark house is unwelcoming, and even dangerous.
Discussion GUIDE, not Discussion MANDATE
The guide we produce is just that... A GUIDE. It is a tool to assist you in facilitating discussion. The goal of the guide is NEVER to "re-hash" the Sunday message, but to take a nugget or two and go deeper with it, using other verses and different thoughts.
Sometimes, your group may be facing a specific issue, or need a specific challenge... Go where your group needs to go. BUT BE SURE to keep it Gospel centered, and Biblically grounded.
If you aren't sure what Gospel centered and Biblically grounded is, maybe the guide should be more of a mandate until you are ready.