Small groups are just that: small groups of people (usually 10-15) that meet weekly for the purpose of fellowship and topic-oriented discussion. Most groups meet in homes, some meet at church or other locations. The goal is to provide an atmosphere where people can connect and help each other learn and grow in their faith.
Paul wrote in Romans that “in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Rom 12:5 – NIV). At Farmington Heights, we believe it is essential for us all to be united by a sense of community. Lifelines small groups help us accomplish that goal through several areas of emphasis: providing an opportunity for individuals to fellowship and connect with others; helping people to focus on disciplines important to their spiritual journey; and fostering development of people’s talents, gifts and abilities. It is the most effective way to get connected and plugged in to Farmington Heights.
Anyone can participate…members, non-members, and friends. You do not have to attend Farmington Heights to join a group.
Lifelines is part of the culture and fabric of Farmington Heights, so the small group philosophy is consistent among all age groups. For young children of pre-school and elementary school age, small group concepts are incorporated into their Sunday morning and Wednesday night activities. Middle school and high school students participate in small groups through Surge student ministries.
There can be various types of groups based on the needs and opportunities that arise. Some groups focus on specific groups of people; other groups are open to anyone. Examples of specific groups or topical areas are:
Our small groups follow a semester format, meeting for regular weekly meetings during a three-month period. Each semester is preceded by a one-month period designated as “Signup Month” during which you may join a group for the upcoming semester. Our yearly schedule is as follows:
December – Signup month
January through March – groups meet
April – Signup month
May through July – groups meet
August – Signup month
September through November – groups meet
Group meetings include time for fellowship, discussion and prayer. Depending on the group, members may need to complete reading outside of group time to develop their understanding and to gain the full benefit. Light refreshments may be served.
Regular group meetings occur weekly.
Groups can meet any day of the week, any time of day. Most groups meet in the evening, but groups can meet for lunch, breakfast, or any other time of day that is convenient. Meeting times are published during the sign-up process.
Groups typically meet in people’s homes, although groups can meet at church. Also, depending on the type of group and meeting time, other locations may be feasible: restaurants, offices, Starbucks, etc. The group location is published during the sign-up process.
It depends on the type of group and the topic, but 60 – 90 minutes is typical.
Most groups are simply discussions focused on a book or Bible-based topic. There may be some light reading required during the week. For people that enjoy more involvement, there are usually some groups that present the opportunity for more study. The requirements for each group are published during sign-up month.
That’s great! Lifelines groups are not “classes”; they’re groups of people that get together for fellowship and group discussion. The group leader is not a “teacher”; he or she is a “facilitator”, or one who directs the group and makes it easy for the group to interact. It’s all about participation and involvement, not listening to a lesson taught by a teacher.
Individuals and groups will be responsible for coordinating their own childcare.
Yes. Children from newborn age through fifth grade can participate in various activities on Wednesday nights. Dedicated leaders guide the kids through interactive lessons, activities and group time. For middle school and high school students, Surge® is the place to be.
You can bring your kids to church beginning at 6:45. They must be picked up no later than 8:15. Out of courtesy to the dedicated volunteers, it is imperative that these timeframes be observed by everyone. For Surge®students, their service normally ends around 9:00.
Leaders must be a member of Farmington Heights (or in the process of becoming a member), and must be an active small group participant. Also, before becoming an active leader, an individual should participate in an Activate group, which is a training group for new leaders. If you are interested in learning more about group leadership, please contact lifelines coordinators Anthony and Teresa Pope at email@example.com.
We will allow leaders to lead a group during a maximum of two semesters a year. They will need to take at least one semester off in order to take part as a participant in another group. This will hopefully prevent leaders from being overworked. Leaders may lead only one semester a year if they choose.
During each sign-up month throughout the year (April, August and December), we will provide a listing of all the available groups. The group listing will provide details on the group’s topic, leader, location and meeting day/time. This information will be provided in print form as well as on our website lifelines.farmingtonheights.com.
Your decision will primarily be based upon what topic you’re interested in, as well as the meeting day/time that works best for you.
The maximum number of sign-ups for a group is 16-18. After the maximum sign-ups are reached, the group is closed. Some groups may have different maximums, based on the specific topic or circumstances.
There are a couple of reasons for this.
We do not maintain waiting lists since they would be tedious to maintain. If the specific group you’re interested in is full, we encourage you to find another one that fits your schedule. Popular groups and topics that routinely fill up will be offered again in future semesters, so you’ll have other opportunities to participate. The most important thing is to get involved.
In order to participate in a group, you will need to sign up, so help your friend sign up. The sign up process is very important to the organization of the group. The group leader is able to obtain everyone’s information ahead of time, establish contact, and properly prepare.
The sign-up process is straightforward and simple, with different options available to you.
After you sign up online, you should receive an email confirmation. The email will contain all of the contact information you provided when you signed up, plus basic details on the group. Make sure to review the information you provided to insure it’s correct. If you do not receive a confirmation email, then you did not successfully complete the signup process, or you may have entered the wrong email address. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
For groups that are not yet full, the sign-up period will continue for the first couple of weeks of the new semester. After that, sign-ups will not be available until the next sign-up month. Since groups will be focused on specific topics, you will receive the full benefit by joining a group when it starts. If you did not sign up for the current semester, you’ll have another opportunity to join a group during the next sign-up month.