How Do Life Groups Work?
The Purpose of Life Groups
Our vision is a vibrant church community filled with small groups that love to do life together that reach every person in every season of life. Your Life Group plays a key role in fulfilling the mission of IFC. Our mission is to help people know God, find freedom, discover purpose and make a difference.
The primary purpose of your Life Group is to give people a safe place to connect, build a relationship and grow together spiritually.
The Role of a Life Group Leader
When you think about leading a Life Group don’t think about teaching, think about hosting and facilitating a discussion or activity, that will be your primary role. The Life Group Leader provides the venue, hosts a warm and friendly environment, and facilitates the meeting discussion or activity. Life Groups are aimed at promoting participation from members of the group, creating a conversation that fosters spiritual growth and encouragement.
The church may provide pre-approved DVD curriculum or books for the leader to use in the group. If you have curriculum that you would like to use you will have to submit it for approval.
What Kind of Group?
There are different kinds of Life Groups you can consider facilitating, each with a different focus:
- Discussion The group focus is on learning and growing together. The Leader’s intention is to encourage the group to grow through group study, discussion and prayer around a particular topic of interest to the group. We have a library of DVD curriculum that is available for the leader to use.
- Activity The group focus is on connecting through a shared interest or activity. The Leader’s intention is to create friendships with both churched and un-churched people.
- Support The group focus is on helping others win in specific areas of life. The Leader’s intention is to bring aid and support to individuals who are in the process of overcoming specific life issues using specialized curriculum and resources approved by the church. (Finances, Health, Divorce, Addiction Recovery)
- Outreach The group focus is on reaching people in the community. The leader’s intention is to serve a specific need in the community. The group may partner with an agency or organization that is providing a specific service to the community.
Life Group Calendar
Life Groups have a starting and ending point.
- FALL SEASON: The fall season runs from September through November (December is optional).
- SPRING SEASON: The Spring season runs from March through May (June is optional).
Each season is preceded with a Life Group Leader Orientation and a Life Group Launch Sunday to help you get started.
Life Group Boundaries
Life Groups must have a safe environment where friendships can be developed. Life Groups are not a place…
- for business promotions or for network marketing promotions.
- to receive monetary Offerings.
- to invite unapproved speakers or use teaching materials that are not approved by the Pastor.
- to make contracts or promises on behalf of International Family Church.
First Steps to Starting Your Life Group
Your first step is to design your own group and submit it to the Life Group Support Team for approval. You determine the following…
- WHAT is the focus of the group. (discussion, interest, support, outreach)
- HOW frequently the group meets. (weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly)
- WHERE the group meets. (home, restaurant, church, etc.)
- WHO is the group’s target audience (men, women, couples, parents, students, young adults, seniors adults, etc.)
Your second step is very important if you want to succeed. Start by looking for someone to assist you in leading your Life Group. Then make a list of ten people you know in and/or outside of church that you would like to invite.
Your Life Group should reflect your passion, interests, and your spiritual gift. The success of the Life Group will be determined by two factors: 1) your enthusiasm and initiative to connect with potential members, and 2) whether your group topic meets the needs, wants and interests of the community you are targeting.
Generally a group size of 3-8 people is optimal for a comfortable environment for connecting and sharing for most people. Generally we would like your group to stay open during the Fall or Spring session for people to join.
Promoting Your Life Group
You are the best source of promotion when it comes to starting and sustaining a Life Group. A leader who is enthusiastic, takes initiative in inviting others with a personal touch can be assured of good attendance in their group. The best invitation is live and in person or by phone, not email.
We promote a small group culture at International Family Church so every individual understands he/she can find safe place to belong. We advertise our Life Groups on the main page of this website.
That enables people to find your group based on time, location, and focus. We promote the start of our Fall and Spring sessions through Life Group Launch Sunday.
When inviting families with young children to your group, you have two options for accommodations. Your group can find a reliable teenager who will come and provide childcare during the meeting time. Parents can pay this person directly. Please do consider what is manageable for a teen to handle in your home. Another option is to rotate responsibility amongst the members of your group. Have someone manage a schedule and activities (games, videos or crafts) for the children.
You will be granted access to InFellowship a contact management tool that will help you communicate with your group.
In order to use InFellowship you will have to create a login and password. Just click the register link and follow instructions.
InFellowship is a contact management tool that will advertise your group to those visiting our website. Inquiries about your group from the website will be immediately sent to InFellowship. In turn, InFellowship will notify you by email. (Your email is kept private.) You will also be able to…
- Create a roster
- Send group emails
- Invite IFC attenders you know
- Download a PDF roster so you can pray for your group
The Approval Process
To start the approval process you must first complete Next Steps. Next Steps will orientate you to the mission of IFC. You will also gain an understanding of your spiritual (motivational) gifts. When you complete Next Steps and are recognized as a partner you are ready to complete the following…
- Submit your Life Group Leader Application
- Attend a Life Group Leadership Orientation.
- Read and agree to live by the Honor Code.
The Life Group Administrator will then approve and contact you concerning your proposed Life Group.
As Christians, the way we present ourselves to others is of vital importance to the way others perceive Christ. Our conduct should never be an embarrassment to Christ, but should exemplify the best qualities of a mature believer and leader.
Exemplifying the highest moral commitment, International Family Church Life Group Leaders should strive to cultivate an intimate relationship with God through regular Bible reading and prayer. It is expected that you also refrain from such behaviors that might cause Christ to grieve and others to stumble (Read Romans 14).
In order for you to lead a Life Group we expect you to be a committed partner of International Family Church, which means you honor the Lord through your tithes and offerings, you are faithful to attend services and invite others to church, and you are accountable to your Pastors.
When your group has been approved we expect you to commit to these responsibilities:
- Pray, prepare, and promote your Life Group meetings.
- Provide a safe and caring environment for people to build friendships.
- Encourage group members to take the next step in their relationship with Christ.
- Look for opportunities to inspire someone else to lead a Life Group.
- Track and Report attendance for your life group using InFellowship on the ministry’s website.
- Respond in a timely manner to any communications from the Life Group support team who manages your account on the IFC website.
- Share testimonies from the members of your group.
Submit Your Life Group Idea
Now that you have a general understanding of how we do Life Groups you can take the next step and submit your Life Group. We will contact you within 48 hours for an interview. As you prepare to start your group read Keys to Success as well as the posts you will see on the side bar of this blog. We are here to help you get off to a good start. We are committed to your success!