By Zack DeBerry
One of the things I value at Journey is the push to get people connecting with each other beyond just the Sunday morning service. One of the ways that we do this at Journey is through Life Groups. Many people may have never tried a Life Group before and have no idea what it can mean to be involved in a Life Group.
I also know a lot of people that have tried a Life Group and it was NOT a great experience for them. For those who have never tried a Life Group I want to encourage you to take a step toward community at Journey. For those that have maybe given up on finding a Life Group I hope that you will give them another chance.
Check out these 3 reasons why your Life Group experience may have stunk or could stink right now:
1. It was Inconsistent.
One of the first things that will tear a group apart is being inconsistent in meeting together. Remember the purpose of a Life Group is to GATHER with others for fellowship, encouragement and spiritual growth.
When Groups don’t gather on a consistent basis the members miss out on these essentials in the Christian journey. I am not saying you have to meet weekly, but you do need to make it a priority to meet regularly.
When the leaders and members of the group fail to make gathering together a priority and the meetings are inconsistent the group will suffer and the members experience will leave a bad taste in their mouth about Life Groups.
2. It was Too Shallow.
Another reason your Group may have stunk or may stink right now is that it is just shallow. What I mean by that is the leaders and members have not created a place for authentic relationships to be developed. I believe with all my heart that Life Change happens in Life Groups. I also believe that if a culture of authenticity is not a priority the group will settle for surface level conversations and Life Change will be minimal.
Our default is to keep it safe, but a Life Group that values developing deep and authentic relationships will inevitably see Life Change happen. We don’t gather just to have fun, but to truly become the body of Jesus Christ helping our brothers and sisters in the faith. When groups fail to take the step to go deeper in relationship the members will usually miss the point and give up on the group.
3. It was “All About Us.”
The last reason I see a lot of times that causes people to not really care for Life Groups is that they have the impression that they are “cliquey.” When a group becomes insulated from others it will fail to have a bigger impact on culture and in the church.
I know there are times when a group will be closed to new people for a season or a specific study, but sometimes groups become all about themselves and fail to reach out to others in the community and in the church. A lot of new people come through the doors at Journey each and every week and I would love it if our group leaders were the ones to pull them in and invite them into their community.
That doesn’t mean every new person will connect, but it does reveal that Life Groups are open and receptive to help new people connect at Journey. When a group becomes focused only on their own members and no one else it can send the wrong message that we only care about ourselves.
Those are just 3 reasons that a Life Group can stink. If you have tried a group before and had a bad experience I would just say give it another try. Community is worth it. If you have never tried a group I would encourage you to take a risk and a step toward community.
If you are either of these then we have a great opportunity coming up at Journey called GroupLink. On August 30th from 5-7:30 PM we will gather at Journey and create an atmosphere for connection.
At the end of the GroupLink event you will have the opportunity to join an 8-week Life Group and see if you can find community. If it works out then the group will continue to meet and build authentic relationships. If not, then at the end of 8 weeks you can say you gave it a go.
Either way I would encourage you to take a step toward community today and register for GroupLink. CLICK HERE to register for GroupLink on Sunday, August 30 at 5PM at Journey.