At Park Hill, we see one of our key duties as helping people take the next step in the walk with Christ. A critical step along that path is joining a Life Group. What exactly is a life group? Simply put, it’s a small group of people that meet every week to have a time of fellowship, prayer, and studying the Bible. Our Life groups meet at the church or in homes on multiple nights throughout the week.
Why is it important for me to join a Life group? We desire every member of our congregation to be in a life group. Our Sunday morning service provides an opportunity to come together for a time or worship and learning through hearing the sermon. However, it can be hard to have a time of fellowship, share prayer requests, and dive deeper into the sermon through conversations in a setting that large. That’s where life groups come in.
How many people are typically in a Life Group? Ideally, somewhere between 8-12 people. Some groups may be a little bit larger, some a little bit smaller. We aim for 8-12 people because we want our Life Group members to grow to know one another and trust each other enough to be able to share struggles and things you may want to keep private. The more people you add, the fewer people open up. Even the most extroverted people have a harder time sharing after 12 or so people.
Is there anything else I need to know about a Life Group? We want our Life Groups to be a place that people feel comfortable opening up to one another. For that reason, we have a few guidelines that each group follows.
SAFE GROUP: We will strive to create an environment where everyone can be real, open, and honest with their struggles and victories.
CONFIDENTIALITY: What is said in the group stays in the group.
LISTEN: Let’s value one another during the discussions by really listening to what is being shared. Try to avoid thinking about how you are going to respond, or what you are going to say next.
PAUSE: Allow a pause in conversation after someone shares. Give the person sharing the chance to finish and the group the opportunity to consider what was just shared before responding.
SILENCE: It is important to allow silence in the group as it provides an opportunity for someone to share and for members in the group to process the topic or question being considered.
NO “CROSS TALK”: Be considerate of others as they are sharing. No side conversations.
NO FIXING: We are not here to fix each other. Jesus does that part. Give encouragement; speak truth, and point to Jesus. Don’t try to solve or fix each other.
NO RESCUING: When people are sharing something deeply personal, there can be a tendency to try to make them feel better about themselves or the situation by providing immediate condolences. This will often cause them to stop sharing. Resist the temptation to rescue people.
SHARING: Be sensitive about the amount of time you share.
BE SELF-AWARE: Be self-aware of how you are personally affecting the environment through your words, actions and non-verbal communication.
USE “I” STATEMENTS: It’s easy to talk about the issues of others, but for our purposes, we want you to put yourself on the table. Try to use “I” statements rather than “them”, “the church”, “us”, “we”, etc.
CONFLICT: We will commit to resolve conflict biblically. When conflict or sin issues between group members arise, we want to make sure that we are honoring God and each other in the way we deal with these issues.
How do I join? If you want to learn more or join a life group, head over to https://parkhillbaptist.churchcenter.com/groups and view the available groups, or feel free to contact me (Pastor Joseph) at Joseph@parkhillbaptist.com.