Oak Forest United Methodist Church
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
To Know Christ, To Grow in Christ, To Share Christ

Life Groups

     Can you believe we are nearing the end of summer? Before we know it, the leaves are going to start to turn, there will be cooler mornings, and school will be in session. As the seasons change, the church experiences a shift too. We tend to recommit ourselves to activities that we have taken a break from over the summer. Good things, like Bible studies, Sunday School classes, volunteer opportunities, just to name a few.

     This fall we are gearing up for some exciting new opportunities that we truly believe will help you grow as a disciple and build stronger friendships with others in our church community. Life Groups (register) have been a part of the Christian community for a very long time. In Genesis 2:18, God reminds us that it is not good for us to be alone. God has created us to be in relationship with God’s self but also to be in relationship with one another. The greatest commandment Jesus taught, is to love God and to love our neighbor. Jesus created a life group too that we call his 12 disciples. The early church also met in small groups where they experienced teaching, talked about their lives, share a meal together, and served in missions.

     Now 2000 years later, Life Groups continue to be one of the best ways to help people feel connected to their church, one another, and to the needs of the world. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, ignited a world-wide movement and spiritually renewed the church of the 18th century with the formation of small groups. This is why I like to call Life Groups a new ancient ministry. We may be doing something brand new but in actuality we are doing what leaders and even our Messiah knew to do to help us to grow as disciples but also as a church.

     In the fall, we are going to offer opportunities for you to join a Life Group. Each life group will have at one-two leader(s)/ facilitator(s) who are trained to lead the life group and facilitate the elements that make a life group work. Each life group will be different but the core values will be the same. 

     At the heart of Life Groups are these four principles:

·      Share life together through support in prayer, care, and by showing up for one another

·      Spiritually grow through studies (bible and spiritual formation studies)

·      Serve in missions

·      Socialize together—have fun!

      Typically, Life Groups meet in homes, restaurants, or other gathering spaces outside the church for 1-2 hours at a time. They usually meet either twice a month or once a week, whichever meets the needs of the members. Life Groups are completely different than Sunday school or a short term Bible study and are not meant to take away from these wonderful and vital ministries. Instead, Life Groups aim to strengthen the ministries that are already going at Oak Forest because the more we are connected to one another and God the stronger our church becomes! My hope is that Oak Forest will be a church OF Life Groups, not just a church with Life Groups. 

     Groups will start meeting in September so register now! For more details, contact Pastor Julie at 336-707-5961or jwilburnpeeler@gmail.com or Stacey Roop at 336-255-3632 or stacey.roop@oakforestumcnc.org.