Why do we call our small groups Life Groups?
God does not intend for His abundant life (John 10:10) to be experienced in isolation (Life Self) but rather in community (Life Group). God, Himself exists in a loving, intimate community within the Trinity. Therefore, He has saved a people for His Name to live and worship Him in community. The local church is the visible expression of this grace wrought community.
There is no such thing then as an isolated gospel-centered believer. The gospel always drives God’s people into community not isolation. To be gospel-centered is to be community-focused. The purpose of our Life Groups is to provide a community of grace where believers can come together to learn how to connect the gospel to their daily lives. They provide an opportunity for our members to explore the gospel and live out its implications amidst the daily messiness of life.
Our Life Groups are a foundational element of our church and serve an important role in helping us fulfill our mission and vision. These groups are the primary place where every member is known (“Where Everybody Knows Your Name”), cared for and encouraged in their faith.
What is the primary purpose of our Life Groups?
The purpose of our Life Groups is to provide a community of grace where believers can come together to learn how to connect the gospel to their daily lives (cf. Acts 2:42; Gal. 2:20). They provide an opportunity for our members to explore the gospel and live out its implications amidst the daily messiness of life.
Our Life Groups reflect one of our core values, which is “a commitment to creating gospel-driven communities of grace.” Only the gospel creates an attractive community of transforming grace where people are welcomed, wanted and invited into a loving and caring environment. Alister McGrath in his book, Knowing Christ, makes the following observation about the highest privilege of the gospel:
“Adoption is about being wanted. It is about belonging. These are deeply emotive themes, which resonate with the cares and concerns of many in our increasingly fractured society. To be adopted is to be invited into a loving and caring environment. It is about being welcomed, wanted and invited. Adoption celebrates the privilege of an invitation, in which the outsider is welcomed into the fold of faith and love.” (pp. 144-145)
Our Life Groups are intended to foster this loving and caring “adoptive” environment at Paramount Church. Through them, we seek to celebrate the privilege of invitation (i.e., God’s gracious invitation to us and in turn our gracious invitation to others, Rom. 15:7). Life Groups give people the opportunity to build and nurture personal relationships and practice applying the implications of the gospel to their lives (where the “one anothers” of the New Testament can be practiced: Rom. 12:10, 16; 15:7; 16:16; Gal. 5:13; Eph. 4:32; 5:19; Col. 3:16; 1 Thess. 5:11, 15; Heb. 3:13; 10:24-25; James 5:16; 1 Pet. 4:8-9).
For additional information on how to get connected in a Life Group send an e-mail to email@example.com.