Life Group Vision

Vision of Life Groups 

  • WE GROW IN CIRCLES...NOT IN ROWS! 
  • AT TRUE NORTH CHURCH WE BELIEVE THAT LIFE GROUPS ARE ONE OF THE PRIMARY PLACES DESCIPLESHIP TAKES PLACE! 
  • WE DESIRE FOR EVERYONE TO BE WELL GROUNDED AND WELL SURROUNDED!
TYPES OF GROUPS
 
  • We have groups with a primary focus of helping people connect with the True North Church community. These are activity-based Life Groups.
  • We have groups with a primary focus of taking people deeper in their personal encounter with God. These are Life Groups studying a book or topic directly from the Bible.
  • We have groups with a primary focus of equipping people for all that God has for them. These are life skill-based groups.

PURPOSES OF LIFE GROUPS

Acts 2:42-47
"All the believers devoted themselves…to fellowship, and to sharing meals…All the believers met together in one place…worshipped together at the Temple…met in homes for the Lord’s supper, and shared their meals with great joys and generosity…and each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved."

We believe that real and lasting life-change happens through life-giving relationships, which is why we are a church made up of Life Groups. Life Groups help us to be well-grounded and well-surrounded.

GOAL OF LIFE GROUPS

100% Of Sunday Morning Auditorium Attendance in Life Groups

One of our Core Attitudes at True North is:
We do not desire to be a mega-church. We want to be a church with a large amount of micro-churches (Life Groups) with a mega-vision! 

We want to see every single person at True North Church in a Life Group!

LIFE GROUPS PROVIDE THREE THINGS:
1. A place to connect with others.
2. A place to protect each other.
3. A place to grow together.


PREPARING TO HOST

"You are one community away from changing the course of your destiny!" - Mark Zweifel

STEPS TO HOSTING A LIFE GROUP:
STEP 1. Decide to HOST a Life Group.
STEP 2. Choose a primary focus and study.
STEP 3. Register your group on Planning Center.
STEP 4. Invite People!

Step 4 is the most important one! Though Life Groups will be promoted from the front for a few weeks leading up to their launch, the best way to fill your Life Group is to personally invite people. We call this “stocking your pond.”

Preparing a Meeting Place
Calculate how many people you can accommodate in your home.
Figure out whether or not your home can facilitate kids. (If it can, plan in advance where the kids will be during the study/discussion portion of the group.)
Pets - consider some people may be allergic to your “best friend.”

A note on alcohol: True North Church asks that all Life Groups refrain from serving alcoholic beverages and/or marijuana. We don’t want to create an atmosphere where those who are trying to break an addiction or struggles in these areas feel susceptible.

Communication
You cannot over communicate! Please be sure to communicate the following before you meet for the first time.

Confirm you added them to the group. It is best if this is done within 24-48 hours after they have signed up. You can use a simple cut and paste message that say, “I am so glad you are joining our Life Group! I just want to confirm you have been accepted to the group. Please keep an eye on your phone and email for more information coming soon!”

Inform them of necessary materials. If your group is using a study guide, tell them where they can purchase it (include the cost) or download it, or if you will provide it. Please do not simply photocopy resources unless the author/publisher has given permission to do so.

Get them excited to be part of the group! Text and email group members in the weeks leading up to your first meeting, helping create an excitement about coming to the group!



HOSTING A GROUP

Great small groups celebrate success, suffer with one another, and expect God to do more than they can do themselves. -Rick Howerton

Your First Meeting
Welcome people to your home. Have name tags for people. Provide snacks and beverages. Create an atmosphere of hospitality through music, scented candles, and cleanliness. Let people know it is your home and you are hosting/leading the group.

Initial introductions. Let everyone take a moment to introduce themselves to the group before jumping into the study. (If you have new members in future weeks you can have them do the same.)

Here is an example of what to say to give clear guidelines to people when introducing themselves: “Hi everyone. Thanks for coming! Some of you have been a part of Life Groups before and for some of you this is your first time in one. We are going to take 1 minute or less to introduce ourselves. I will be keeping track of your minute! You can share how you came to True North Church. If you have come from another church, and have strong opinions about it, we kindly ask you not to share those at this time. I’ll go first…”

Each Week
Welcome people.
Have someone bring snacks and beverages. Ask them to come a bit early to make sure these are available as others arrive.
Take attendance! Record who is coming, and add any visitors that came.

Childcare
Each group is responsible for providing childcare if you have offered it. Here are some tips to help you do this well.

Older siblings - ask the families in your group if they have an older sibling willing to help with childcare.

Babysitters - hire babysitters to look after the kids. You can ask group members with kids to contribute towards covering the cost of babysitters as a way of making this affordable. Please be sure to have an adequate number of babysitters for the number of kids in your group.

“Free range” kids - if your entire group is ok with it, you can have a space for kids to be during the group, but leave them free to come and get their parents when necessary.

Don’t provide childcare - it is perfectly acceptable to ask parents to find their own babysitters and not bring their children.

Snacks & Beverages
Please make sure snacks and beverages are provided each week. This was part of the Acts 2 church life, and is a large part of being hospitable. You as the host should provide snacks and beverages for the first week. After that your can ask others to bring snacks from time to time. Create a schedule and have people sign up during your first group. Be sure you contact them the week it is their turn to remind them.

If your group has children, make sure to have snacks and beverages for them as well. Try your best to be aware of allergies.

Example Timeline of a Life Group Meeting
This is a timeline you can use for a group that plans to go for 1.5 hours:
6:30 - 6:50 - Fellowship and food time.
6:50 - 7:00 - Begin gathering people. Give them a “we will start in 5 minutes” warning, knowing it will take a few minutes longer than that to get everyone seated.
7:00 - 7:50 - study and discussion time.
7:50 - 8:00 - prayer time.