by Jay Fennell & Susan Hill

Over the years of leading my own LIFE Group and also leading LIFE Groups ministries in various churches, I’ve noticed that the healthiest and most relationally connected groups communicate with each other through the week. Communication matters. If you’re not communicating with your group members on a weekly basis, apart from your weekly gathering time, you’re missing a tremendous opportunity to build community in your LIFE Group.
As LIFE Group Leaders, the primary goal is to lead group members to grow in love for God and each other. Building community is a key component in creating an environment where this happens. However, building community, especially in a new group takes intentionality. In fact, it seldom happens on its own.
One of the most important steps in building LIFE Group community is reaching out with a mid-week touch to your group members. Here are 3 suggestions:

  1. Send out a mid-week email. This might include prayer requests that were shared in your group time. (Be sure to make sure group members agree to share prayer requests via email.) Also, this is a way to communicate dates for social outings, mission projects, and updates from group members. It’s also a great way to introduce the following week’s lesson plan.
  2. Consider Using Social Media. Some groups have their own Facebook page where both the leader and group members can easily post updates, group photos, announcements, and mid-week encouragement.
  3. Calls and Texts. Even though this isn’t something that all group leaders can pull off every week, as your schedule permits, send group members a quick text or call to encourage them or let them know you are praying for them. This is especially important if you have a group member who is going through a difficult season. Also, if you have a group member who has been absent for a while, it’s important to reconnect.

Although we sometimes forget, LIFE Group leaders have an incredible amount of influence in the lives of those we lead. It just takes a few minutes to reach out with a mid-week touch and communicate with group members. This simple gesture has a great impact on building relationships and biblical community. Growth is most likely to happen within the context of relationship. Let’s do all we can to build a strong sense of biblical community in our LIFE Groups.