Soteria Life Groups
LIFE GROUPS IN SOTERIA
Connecting: A Biblical Mandate
There is no shortage of scriptures that speak of God’s desire to connect with His creation, or verses that reveal the Fathers heart for His people connecting with each other. From God’s declaration with Adam and Eve, “It is not good for man to be alone” to John 1 explaining “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” we see God connecting people to Himself and to Each Other.
Because of Jesus, we are permanently and ultimately connected. Not hypothetically, philosophically, or theoretically speaking, but literally, biblically, and presently, we are connected to God in His Trinity and to each other by our belief in Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
A common misconception is that we need something in common, or an affinity with each other, in addition to Jesus, in order to connect with each other and for relationships to spark or grow. But this is not the testimony of the Bible or the Holy Spirit and this thinking can ultimately lead to lines being drawn that don’t belong between us as believers.
Jesus teaches us in John 14 how He abides in the Father and He in us. We learn later in Romans 12 (and many of Paul’s other writings) how we are one body and how we are “in each other” and “belong to each other.” Galatians 3 also teaches us “there is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave nor free, male or female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Division is destroyed in Jesus.
Life Groups is founded on the belief that just as Jesus summarised the Greatest Commandments, “love God and love others,” we are called to “connect with God and connect with others.”
Groups based on commonalities will always be a part of our ministry, BUT growing deeper we are making a concerted effort as Life Groups to lead people into groups based around our truest connection in Jesus Christ and key focuses the Bible would have us deepen our roots into.
Let’s dig into the Layers of Life together, with roots going deep, branches reaching toward heaven, bearing fruit for hungry hearts. We need nothing more than faith in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as our connection. Christ is our Connection.
1. TITUS MODEL TO PREPARE LEADERS
The law of explosive growth:
:1 I, Paul, am God's slave and Christ's agent for promoting the faith among God's chosen people, getting out the accurate word on God and how to respond rightly to it.
: 2 My aim is to raise hopes by pointing the way to life without end. This is the life God promised long ago-and he doesn't break promises!
: 3 And then when the time was ripe, he went public with his truth. I've been entrusted to proclaim this Message by order of our Saviour, God himself.
: 4 Dear Titus, legitimate son in the faith: Receive everything God our Father and Jesus our Saviour give you!
: 5 I left you in charge in Crete so you could complete what I left half-done. Appoint leaders in every town according to my instructions.
Paul left Titus in Crete to do two things: organise the people and appoint leaders. The new converts in Crete had experienced the power of God. Now they needed strong leadership to preserve what God had done. Titus was a leader of leaders whom Paul trusted to solve problems in the most difficult of places. Paul knew that every church needs a leader to establish order and to develop a team of elders. This was Titus’s job, and it remains the job of leaders today. Consider the following method of accomplishing this important task:
Choose the men.
How creative am I at finding new people to invest in?
Cultivate the models.
How am I doing at turning my people into examples?
Create the ministries.
How am I at creating ministry opportunities for these leaders?
Construct the management
How am I at monitoring them along the way?
Communicate the mindset.
How am I at constantly keeping the vision alive?
Celebrate the mentoring.
How do I encourage and celebrate growth?
2. LIFE GROUP VISION
a. Going for Gold…Living Life, Touching people. What does it mean?
Our purpose as a church is to be life-giving. That means that we promote life, not death, to everyone in our sphere of influence. That means we champion people, we empower people. That means we don’t control or prohibit – we say “Yes!” We don’t create hurdles; we open doors. We don’t determine who belongs arbitrarily; we strategize to include as many people as possible. We don’t serve systems or particular models of ministry; we serve people. We are successful only when we are empowering people to do the life-giving ministry that God has called them to do.
The Core of Life Groups is to help people connect with God and each other.
c. The Vision:
• The “Why” behind what we do.
In Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we
may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. (Col. 1:28-29 (NKJV))
• The Four Phases of the Vision
WIN “Him we preach…”
Evangelism and Prayer
CONNECT “warning every man…”
• Holding the harvest through Life Groups, and Freedom Weekends
TRAIN “teaching every man…”
• Discipleship into the Character of Jesus
SEND “that we might present every man…”
• Multiplying by Life Group-Based Discipleship
Churches worldwide are implementing this dynamic principle. Its simple, personal nature is easy to duplicate. It is not a program, but the development of “fathering” relationships that help every believer become a multiplying leader who can disciple others.
d. Group Components:
Learn, Share, Eat, or Pray Together (Acts 2;42).
• Life Groups have four components but each group only needs to have one of them present when they gather. We lift our components for a group directly from Acts 2:42, They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
• Christians in the early church learned together, shared time in fellowship together, ate together, and prayed together. So we ask each group to incorporate Learning, Sharing, Eating, or Praying with each other during their group time.
How many times have you simply shared a meal with a few people and known that Jesus was with you? That is why just getting together and sharing a meal can be a group here at Soteria. Don’t be overwhelmed with accomplishing all things, but focus on one and see what God will do with your group