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What's in a name?

In this blog we have been looking at the question “Why LIFEGroups?” We have talked about how LIFEGroups help connect people at Calvary and how they help people to grow in their faith. There is a another very important reason why Calvary has LIFEGroups. LIFEGroups help people get through the tough times of life.

Every LIFEGroup revolves around three types of relationships. A LIFEGroups helps you live out relationships that are formative, caring and missional. Last we talked about how formative relationships help people grow in their faith. This week we will look at how caring relationships can help us through difficult times in our lives.

Caring happens in a group when the members of the group sacrifice as necessary to meet the needs of one another. Galatians 6:2 says “bear one another’s burdens.” This command is rich in meaning. As Christians we are required to help one another during difficult times. This takes sacrifice. It means giving up our time and our resources to help someone else. Our ultimate example is Jesus bearing our sins on the cross. Jesus was willing to bear our burdens even though it meant his death. Jesus expects us to follow his model of sacrifice in our own community of believers.

The command “bear one another’s burdens” also carries with it an assumption. At some point in our life we are going to have to let other people help us. For some people receiving help is more difficult than giving help. For caring to work, people in community must be willing both to sacrifice for others and at the appropriate time let others sacrifice for them.

LIFEGroups provide the community dynamic needed for the exchange of care to take place. How can you bear someone’s burden if you don’t know what that burden is? And how can you know what the burden is unless you know the person? As people in the LIFEGroup grow together they learn what the needs of the members are and how to best minister to the needs of the members.

When the hard times come, and we know that they will, your LIFEGroup should be a shelter in the storm. Brothers and sisters in Christ should never have to wonder whether or not there will be someone to care for them. Those in our LIFEGroups will help us get through the tough times of life. That is why LIFEGroups.


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Here is a great exercise for a new group. The instructions are pretty simple. Go around the group giving each person the opportunity to choose one question and answer it honestly. Anyone can follow-up with an opinion or clarifying question (no critiquing each other's answers, though). Once a question has been answered, no one else may answer that question.

If your group is larger, you may want to alter the rule and allow each question to be answered 2 or 3 times. Ideally, each person should end up answering 3-5 questions.

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