So, what is a Life Group?
We have even attempted to consolidate what Scripture says into our membership covenant at LHBC, but diving into those would make this post much longer than it needs to be. I would encourage you to take the time and look up all those “one-another” passages (and check out our church covenant).
Unfortunately, despite all of these commands and examples that we have in Scripture (which we all probably know very well), we as individuals, couples, and families have, for the most part, failed to match the desire for, commitment to, and depth of Biblical relationships that we see in Scripture.
Consider the following Scriptures:
Romans 12:9–13  Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.  Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. (ESV)
Colossians 3:12–17  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,  bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (ESV)
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (ESV)
Do your relationships in the body of Christ look like the ones described in the passages above?
Why? Because this is not an organizational problem. We like to blame the modern culture for our busyness and apathy when it comes to living as Scripture calls us to live. However, the real problem is that we simply don’t put commitment to Biblical relationships within the body high enough in our list of priorities.
We all fill the same 24 hours a day with something. Why, with all of our modern conveniences do we find ourselves too busy to gather with the body as a church, as a small group, or even one-on-one? I believe it’s because we simply don’t place the priority on those relationships that Scripture does. No matter what organizational structures we put into place, nothing we plan will fix the underlying issue. We must come to a place in our lives as individuals, couples, and families that these Biblical relationships are more important than the many selfish ways we currently spend our time.
If Life Groups are not the answer, why have them?
That’s a valid question and one that we have wrestled with ourselves. While we certainly can’t force people into modeling the type of relationships we see in Scripture, we can in small ways encourage the process of changing the way we think about relationships in the body of Christ through our Life Group organization in the following ways:
Life Groups are voluntary.
While we desire everyone to be involved and we encourage everyone to be involved and even reach out to those who are not involved to invite them to participate, it is 100% voluntary. Just as you can’t force someone to come to Christ, you can’t force people into a deeper walk with others in their local body. It must be your choice.
Life Groups are relational.
Life Groups emphasize prayer.
Life Groups are just the beginning.
Hebrews 10:24–25  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (ESV)