The reason life groups exist
In mid-2016, during a scorching hot Friday, one of my disciples invited me and another member of our life group for early dinner at her family’s home. Seeing it as an opportunity to get to know her family more (and to share a meal with the people I love), I gladly accepted. Soon after, we were in her humble abode, gathered around the dinner table.
After saying grace, we began to eat the chicken tinolathat Tita so kindly cooked for us. Amused at how delicious we found her cooking, she began to share with us how glad she is that her daughter found friends in church. “And more than that,” she said, “I am grateful, because I am seeing remarkable changes in my daughter’s life ever since she started to go to church and attend life group.”
These “remarkable changes” are founded on nothing else, but on Jesus Christ’s love and grace. He is the cornerstone of our lives and our life groups. But what is a life group?
A life group is basically a small group of individuals, led by a mature Christian, who come and gather together regularly to learn and to encourage, teach, rebuke, and guide one another towards Christ-likeness; that is, to be discipledfor the main goal of becomingfully devoted followers of Christ, and, eventually, to disciple others in the same direction.
You see, discipleship is not a special technique of doing church; it is a way of life. And for Jesus, that meant making a proactive effort to share His life with the people in His “life group” (that is, His Twelve disciples). He made time for them. He prayed for them (John 17:20-21). He taught them the ways of God (Matthew 6 & 18; John 13:1-17), and He encouraged them to pursue God and to keep pursuing Him, in all seasons of life (John 6:25-40). And during those trying times that His disciples were of little faith, their hearts filled with fear and condemnation, Jesus encouraged them, leading them to the path of righteousness (Matt. 14:22-33). He served them, and considered them His friends (John 15:14-15).
But above all, Jesus loved His disciples (John 15:9-13). And He also loved the lost (Luke 19:10). This love was the driving force that caused the disciples to experience “remarkable changes” in their lives. It was this love that compelled them(2 Corinthians 5:14-15) to love Jesus more, to love each other more, and to love the lost more.
And that is exactly why a life group exists - tolove God and to love people.
When members of a life group do exactly that – guiding one another in Truth, studying the Bible together, speaking life to one another, and bearing with one another, then by God’s grace, these “remarkable changes”, as led by the Holy Spirit, supernaturally take place. The members begin to think, speak, act, and do life differently. They begin to look less like themselves, and more like Jesus.
As for that disciple who invited us for dinner, she continued to attend church devotedly. She completed her BBR and CE classes with passion and dedication. And all along, she continued to pray for her mother, that she too, may find joy in becoming a part of the church… that she too, may have a personal relationship with Christ and be a part of a life group*.
And, by God’s grace, her mother did.
Because more than anything, she first saw remarkable changes in her daughter’s life, that are ultimately founded on Christ’s power, love, and grace. And she desired to know and to experience the same power, the same love, and the same grace.
And, by God’s grace, she did.