At LifeWay, we believe that growth happens best in the context of relationships. People in healthy relationships know one another, care for one another, hold one another accountable, and, when needed, challenge one another in love. Through relationships like these, we are able to support one another in the process of becoming more like Jesus. Relationships like these tend to grow out of closer environments, so we do our best to provide a structure where people can gather and get connected in small groups. At LifeWay, we have two kinds of small groups.
Discipleship Groups are on-going groups that focus on growing as followers of Jesus by applying the Bible to everyday life at the head, heart, and hands levels. These groups thrive on intentional leaders and people who are willing to share life with one another. They take their purpose from Matthew 28:18-20, where Jesus gave his followers their mission statement:
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
At LifeWay, we apply this by doing our best to be disciples who make disciples. We base our definition of a disciple on Jesus’ personal invitation to his original disciples in Matthew 4:19:
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
A Disciple is:
- Someone who has chosen to follow Christ (HEAD) “…follow me…”
- Someone who is being changed by Christ (HEART) “…and I will make you…”
- Someone who is committed to the mission of Christ (HANDS) “…fishers of men…”
As people in these groups become more like Jesus, they become more interested in reaching outside the walls so they can help others begin a relationship with Jesus and grow in that relationship.
Discipleship groups can be comprised of a variety of people.
Neighborhood Groups are mixed groups based loosely on geography. They are open to families, single people, men, women, and youth.
Men’s Groups are limited to men, but can include married, single, young, and older men.
Women’s Groups are limited to women, but can include married, single, young, and older women.
The other kind of groups at LifeWay are TAG groups. TAG stands for “Training And Growth”. These groups help fulfill the teaching aspect necessary for growth as followers of Jesus. Unlike discipleship groups, TAG groups are short-term (usually 6-8 weeks) studies focused on Biblical passages or topics. They can be traditional Bible studies, training groups, or topical studies. We offer TAG groups quarterly so they are a great way to get connected without a long commitment.
Typical TAG Group Studies:
- Bible Book Studies
- Christian Living Issues – Finances, Emotions, Marriage, Parenting
- Christian Practice and Training – Missions training, Discipleship training
- Women’s Studies
- Men’s Studies
For more information about groups at LifeWay, please contact our Director of Community Life, Heather Althoff, or the LifeWay office.