The nice thing about little acronyms like LIFE is that there can be several meanings. Here are four possible ways to express the “why” of our groups and to define our LIFE group goals.
“Linked In ‘Family’ Environment”
One goal of a LIFE group is to learn mutual acceptance of who each person is. After all, every member of the Lord’s family is linked to the others through Him. And meeting in our homes, our own environment, helps us learn to relax and know that we don’t have to put on a show for each other.
“Listening In Friendly Encouragement”
Another goal is to offer each other an ear, a shoulder to cry on, or a helping hand-whatever is needed. In our trouble or difficulty, the others are there to pray for us and also to offer practical help. Part of the LIFE group “way” is to keep in confidence anything private that is shared, a “no gossip” policy.
“Living In Friendship Evangelism”
Most Christians have at least one acquaintance they’d like to share their faith with, to tell them about Jesus Christ and the new kind of life He gives us. A LIFE group is a place where we pray for such friends, and a place where our friends can be introduced to the Christian life.
“Lives Invested For Eternity”
Maybe this one says it best. In this life, committing yourself to Jesus as Lord and Teacher gives you goals and guidance and fellowship. But knowing and acknowledging Jesus as Lord also assures you that He is your Savior, assures you of eternal life with Him in heaven. Our LIFE groups therefore encourage us to live each day with eternity in view.
In general, LIFE groups meet weekly for about an hour and a half, in neighborhood locations. A typical meeting includes a brief time of worship, followed by discussion of a short Bible passage and how it applies to our lives. There is always prayer, for each other and for any other needs we may be aware of, and there may be planning of a work project or other special event. A bit of a snack (plus some conversation!) either opens or closes the meeting.