Here’s a helpful article from Ed Stetzer that was in Christianity Today in 2015. Most of these elements apply directly to our groups and are good handles for thinking through our L.I.F.E. expressions. The 5 Elements are:
1. Mission Orientation
Does your LIFE Group have a mission statement so that anyone who were to “randomly” wander in would know what the group is about?
2. Word-Driven Mentality
You guys, as the F leaders, are doing so well at teaching the Bible to your groups. The next steps are to be sure that you are helping your group members to both learn to read their Bibles regularly and to read them well (historical, cultural, literary, and in text context).
3. Multiplication Mindset
Are you raising up leaders, and I mean not just F leaders (teachers) but I, F, and E leaders, who will begin a group of their own one day?
4. Stranger Welcoming
Is your group hospitable such that people are met warmly, kindly, and graciously? Some easy things to do are: be on time, stand rather than sit until the prayer or teaching time starts, welcome folks at the door and introduce them to someone, wear nametags and bring food as you are able.
I’ve been incredibly impressed during spring meetings with how much ongoing community service you guys are leading through your groups. Let me continue to encourage you to raise up E leaders who champion that work and to continue inviting the lost and searching along with you as you serve. And, oh yeah, share those stories with our congregation!
Here’s the full Stetzer article.
Paul Wilkinson is the Adult Minister–Groups Associate, Brentwood Baptist Church.