Posts Tagged communication

Celebration, Communication, Community

By Sarah Becky Spain, active member of the Oasis LIFE Group, a women’s group that meets on Sunday mornings at 9:30 and is led by Sarah Samuel.

The Oasis Class bulletin board is a way to celebrate, communicate, and share life within our class community. Practically speaking, it’s a space where we can purposefully and effectively share things of value with our group.
We want group members to be informed about key parts of our group, even if we can’t spend a lot of class time talking about them. We’ve chosen to include highlights from our weekly emails, sign-ups for upcoming group events, photos from past events, and announcements about our monthly Oasis Gives Back campaign. We have a section of the board devoted to our class missionaries, which includes a picture and short bio, as well as prayer points. We’ve also chosen to add favorite verses on note cards and a few book recommendations from group leaders. We’re able to communicate a lot of important class information without words, which allows more class time for studying the Word.
We’ve found that our board is a great way to build community within the group. We can see everything that’s going on and coming up. We are reminded to pray for our missionaries in the world when we see their bios and pictures. We love looking at our class pictures and celebrating all the blessings we collectively share. It also speaks volumes about our group with first-time visitors and future Oasis members.
It was a team effort to decorate the board and now we have one person designated to manage the postings. The entire project was the brainchild of Karen Clark, one of our faithful members and the driving force behind many of our wonderful group activities. It really takes amazing people like Karen to make things like this happen.
Our class board has created a welcoming presence in our room which perfectly reflects the intentional heart of our leader, Sarah Samuel. As a class, we echo the words of Jesus in saying “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” and “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (Matthew 11:28-30, John 10:10). We hope that everyone who visits room 2000 will be enriched and challenged by the study of the Word, as well as encouraged by what God has planned for our impact in His Kingdom.

Building Community in LIFE Groups: The Importance of a Mid-Week Touch

 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.