Posts Tagged TLS

Transformational LIFE Strategy Refresher

By Paul Wilkinson

The Transformational LIFE Strategy (TLS) helps us frame the call to kingdom living. It is firstly, an encouragement and guide to the disciple of Jesus in seeking to imitate Jesus in word and deed. Secondarily, it is an organizational structure for our groups such that they live out the call to abundant life. Periodically, I use TLS to evaluate my own obedience and affection toward the Lord. I encourage you to do the same for yourself, your family, and your group. Find below the description of the function and a few examples. If you don’t have group members who fulfill these functions, begin praying that the Spirit might quicken someone towards that ministry.

L – Love one another. Jesus says in John 13:35, by this they will know that you are my disciples: that you have love for one another. Jesus is talking to his 12 there, not the entirety of the masses who followed him.

  • Praying for and with the group
  • Ministry in and out of crisis
  • Care groups for ministry and encouragement

I – Involved in community. The early church gathered in the temple daily and broke bread house by house. (Acts 2:40ff) They were together, daily . . . may we strive for that!

  • Dinner groups that meet monthly
  • Seasonal parties
  • Group outings to ball games, retreats, etc.

F – Focused on God’s Word. The early church devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42) and Jesus said that if we abide in His word, then we are His disciples. (John 8:31)

  • Teach the Bible in its historical, cultural, and grammatical context
  • Model and train your group to read the Bible well and to read it daily; give a set of Scriptures to be read each week before the lesson
  • Give 1-3 ways the group should “live out” the text each week

E – Engage the world. We are called to disciple all people by baptizing them and teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded. (Matthew 28:19-20) To do that, we must get into our communities?

  • Adopt a project by partnering with a local missions partner; take a mission trip every so often to model it for your group
  • Keep an ongoing list of lost people to pray for and pray for foreign missionaries (find some specific ones)
  • Invite one or two like-gendered people to be discipled by you with the intent that they would then disciple 2 others.

We must, as leaders, demonstrate for our people and do to our people those things we expect them to live out and remain faithful to. We, as leaders, are called to equip the saints for the work of ministry. We are here to support you and partner with you in that calling.

How Do I Utilize the Transformational LIFE Strategy in my LIFE Group?

By Susan Hill

As a LIFE Group leader, it is not uncommon to be faced with a variety of needs and responsibilities. Leading a thriving biblical community is a privilege and honor, but there are times it can be overwhelming. That’s why utilizing the Transformational LIFE Strategy (TLS) is so beneficial. It gives group members the opportunity to invest in the group, share their gifts in biblical community, and it allows the group leader to delegate responsibility. The TLS addresses the four common functions of any LIFE Group: To Love One Another, Involve Ourselves in Community, Focus on God’s Word, and Engage the World. These four functions address a variety of needs including: pastoral care issues, group hospitality, social events, bible study, and engaging the community in service and evangelism.

So, how does a group leader implement the TLS?

  •  Enlist good leaders.  The first step of enlisting good leadership for your LIFE Group is to really know your group members. When you understand how your group members are gifted and are aware of their strengths, you are ready to enlist them in roles where they will be most effective. For instance, if you know one of your group members is outgoing and hospitable, you might consider him/her as an “I” Leader who will be responsible for greeting and following up with first-time guests and planning social events.
  • Communicate expectations. Each TLS role has a clear job description and guidelines on how to serve well. Be sure to provide your TLS team with this information and encourage them to take advantage of ongoing leadership development opportunities provided by the church discipleship team.  Keep in mind that our church staff is always available to help equip your TLS team with the resources they need to serve well.
  • Continue to lead. Even after you fill your group’s leadership roles, it’s important to stay engaged. This will mean ongoing communication with your TLS team to insure group needs are being met and your LIFE Group is accomplishing its purpose.

As a leader, there is nothing more gratifying than seeing those you lead thriving in their roles. God has equipped all of his people with unique gifts and talents to serve His church. Let’s do our best to make sure those we lead are utilizing their strengths to build Christ’s kingdom.