When you ask a person about their impressions after visiting a church, one of the most common responses is about the size of the church. “The church was too small,” or, “It felt too big.” What does that really mean? Perhaps the “small” church was not able to offer programs or ministries of interest to the visitor, or the visitor looked around and didn’t see anyone they could easily identify with. On the other hand, the church that is “too large” might not have felt friendly, or personable, or maybe the visitor simply didn’t see how the church might need them.
New Life Community Church was founded in 1994 in Pastor Kurt’s living room. From just a few families, to a church of more than 200, we have experienced meaningful growth of every kind. Every church wants to grow and serve a larger number of God’s people. But often, an unfortunate side effect of growth is a loss of close, intimate friendships. At New Life, we want to preserve the feeling of being a living room church, while growing to fill dozens of living rooms across the city. This is why one of New Life’s core purposes is “A Place to Belong.” LIFE Groups are one important way that we stay connected to our living room roots.
What to Expect in a LIFE Group
Most LIFE Groups meet every other week at a person’s home or the church building, involving 15-25 people. Each LIFE Group is led by one or two men and their wives, and groups often have a demographic leaning (young adults, young families, older families, etc.) The format— what you will do from week to week— is left to the group to explore. However, the primary purposes of every LIFE Group are to be a place where:
• Every person at NLCC is cared for in practical and meaningful ways.
• Every person at NLCC is prayed for, and requests for prayer are common.
• Every person at NLCC has an opportunity to share with their friends the joys and struggles of life.
• Every new person joining NLCC is welcomed into a more personal fellowship of believers.
In short, LIFE Groups are a community within a community, where people experience authentic Christian fellowship with others. In the Bible, the Greek phrase for this kind of relationship is “koinonia,” and it describes a kind of life-sharing that is unique to Christianity.
“One Another” Verses
Another important reason for our LIFE Groups is that the New Testament reminds us time and time again that true believers will be primarily identified by the depth of love they have for one another. And, a church’s greatest attribute is not its size or the number of programs it offers, but rather, how its members interact. For example:
• Romans 12:10, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
• Hebrews 10:24, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
• 1 Peter 1:22, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth, so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply from the heart.”
• Finally, the Apostle Peter says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
Christians will never be without sin, and where Christians gather, the potential for sin and misunderstandings always exists. Fortunately, through the friendships created in LIFE Groups, and the love that grows among people, we can protect and encourage one another to live joyously and in unity with Christ Jesus!
|Matt Huether & Sam Renning||Tuesday|
|Jon Grose & Karlin Stutzman||Tuesday|
|Scott McMaster & Josh Jurgensmeier||TBD|
|Ben Grose & Joseph Jurgensmeier||Tuesday|
|Blade Mullinex & Dan Reedy||Thursday|
|Ray Damaso & Troy Andersen||Friday|