What is a LifeGroup?
A LifeGroup is a home fellowship made up of 10-14 people who meet weekly to share, study and support one another. A trained leader and host lead each group. A typical meeting lasts for an hour and a half, often times involving light refreshments.
How Important Are LifeGroups?
Here at The Bridge, LifeGroups are the key place to be encouraged to grow spiritually and to connect with others. It’s the place where real ministry takes place as we study God’s Word, while supporting and sharing our lives with one another. We believe that meeting together on a regular basis is time well spent.
When and Where Do They Meet?
LifeGroups meet on various nights of the week in homes throughout Fresno County and beyond. Most evening groups meet 7-8:30 pm. The daytime groups meeting times vary.
How Long Do They Last?
Each LifeGroup quarter lasts 8 to 12 weeks. We have Fall, Winter & Spring Quarters. At the end of each quarter, you will have the choice of staying in the same group, trying a new group or even taking a break. Most groups stay together throughout the entire year. LifeGroups do not typically meet mid–June through August.
What is the Required Commitment?
Joining a LifeGroup requires an 8 to 12 week commitment to attend weekly meetings and look over the discussion questions ahead of time. Obviously, allowances are made for sickness, vacation, work conflicts and other special events, but not much more. This commitment is the key to a strong LifeGroup.
What Will We Study?
Most of the studies are based on the previous weekend’s message. These “sermon –based” LifeGroups are built on what we call a “Lecture–Lab” model. Imagine the weekend message as a lecture on Christian living, and the LifeGroup as a lab where you get to discuss how the weekend’s message works in real life. Each week there will be a series of Bible passages and questions on the back of the sermon note sheet to study before and use during the LifeGroup meeting.
What Does It Cost?
Few things in life are free and LifeGroups are no exception! The cost of LifeGroups is the cost of commitment. Each group will complete a “covenant” together. This simple form helps each group discuss their priorities and commitment. Part of that commitment is the promise to attend each week as well as to attend a quarterly social and one service project for the year.
When you join a LifeGroup, you’re promising to attend and be prepared each week. It’s this commitment that makes LifeGroups work. We realize it’s a big commitment, but it only lasts for 8-12 weeks. At the end of each quarter, you have the choice of recommitting for another quarter, trying a new group, or taking a break from LifeGroups altogether.
What About Child Care?
LifeGroups are for adults only. (Exceptions can be made for nursing newborns.) We leave it up to each family to work out their own childcare. Sometimes it works best for families to share a sitter or to swap childcare with another family whose LifeGroup meets on a different evening. Some groups work together creatively to provide childcare for their particular LifeGroup.
How Do I Choose A Group?
When selecting a group, we strongly recommend you choose a group based on its leader–host team and station–in–life, rather than its location if possible.
Our groups are divided in the following types of station–in–life groupings: Singles, Newly Married, Young Families, Empty Nesters, 40 and up, 20–Something, 30–Something, College, General (meaning they are groups of all generations and stations of life), etc. Remember, these station–in–life groupings are intentionally kept a little fuzzy and are meant to help you self–select an appropriate group for you. They are not intended to box you in or make you feel like you have to choose a certain type of LifeGroup.
If you have any questions (especially if you are new to The Bridge), please don’t hesitate to call the church, and we will gladly assist you. Keep in mind that it might take two or three groups before you find the perfect fit, but don’t worry, you’ll find it!
How Do I Sign Up For A LifeGroup?
We offer sign–ups for LifeGroups during the weekend services before each of our LifeGroup Quarters begin. There are LifeGroup leaders and/or Bridge Staff members available at the sign–up tables to help you choose a group and answer any questions. There are five sign–up weekends before the beginning of our Fall Quarter in September, and two sign–up weekends before our Winter Quarter in January and our Spring Quarter in April. Also, you can call The Bridge office at any time to speak to LifeGroup Staff members who can assist you in finding and signing up for a group, or answer any questions. Are you interested in Leading a LifeGroup call today! 559.226.4100.
Are There LifeGroups for Teenagers?
Yes. Our high school and junior high ministries both offer small groups for students and meet on The Bridge campus on Wednesday nights 6:30 - 8:30 pm. For more information about Junior High or High School groups, please contact our Student Ministries Department at 559.226.4100.