Table Of Contents
Life Group Leader Guide
Your Role As A Life Group Leader
WHY LIFE GROUPS EXIST
Life Groups have one, simple purpose—to bring people together. We believe God created us to live in community with others and only then can we experience the full life He intends for us.
We believe life change happens in the context of Relationships.
Meaningful relationships can be hard to find, and Life Groups exist to make life-changing relationships relevant and accessible to you.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Passion Church Life Groups Model
At Passion Church, we believe our church must grow larger and smaller at the same time.
We grow larger to reach as many people as possible with the life-giving message of Jesus. We gather in Life Groups to build community and care for people.
Passion Church is a church of Small Groups, not a church with Small Groups.
We base our Life Group model on the early church as described in the Bible in the book of Acts. In Acts, you can read about the tremendous growth of the first church in Jerusalem, where small group meetings in homes helped lay the foundation.
Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
Life Groups offer people:
A Place to Connect
Yes, whatever a person is like, I try to find common ground with him so that he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him.
1 CORINTHIANS 9:22 TLB
We were not made to do life alone. God created us for community, and Life Groups provide a place to connect with others, share life, and grow in faith together.
A Place To Protect
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.
1 JOHN 3:16 NLT
It is through life together that our problems become smaller, and God uses others to bring support and encouragement to our lives. Life Groups become a place where others don’t just know your name, but care about what is happening in your life and want to support you in your spiritual journey.
A Place To Grow
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
We believe every person is created with God-given potential to make a difference in the world. Life Groups are a place you can grow with others to become more like Jesus and reach the potential God has put inside you.
WHAT A LIFE GROUP LOOKS LIKE
Your Life is Your Group
At Passion, we use a free market approach to Life Groups. This means we want people to gather together based on the things they enjoy and are important to them. Essentially, the things you are already doing in your life are the things that can make up your Life Group!
Free market leaders form their group around their gifts or interests.
From sports groups to lunch groups, mom groups to student groups, Bible study groups to creative arts groups, our groups are as varied as we are. All groups fall within one of seven hubs.
- Common Interests
- Marriage and Family
- PASSION YTH
- Young Adults
- Spiritual Growth
Groups meet throughout the year in three semesters.
- Groups meet weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly during each semester.
- We encourage groups to meet weekly but it really depends on what you are doing as a group.
- Groups meet in a variety of places like homes, parks, restaurants, coffee shops and office buildings.
- New groups start every semester making it easy to build community and enjoy different types of groups.
No matter what your group meets about, each meeting should be made up of four things:
Laid back time for group members to talk and get to know each other.
Activity Or Discussion
This will vary based on what kind of group you’re leading. It could be an activity like frisbee or outreach or a discussion about a book or Sunday message.
Ask for prayer requests from group members and pray at the beginning and/or the end of each group meeting.
Whether it’s through activities or discussion, always find a way to include the Word of God. This can be as simple as sharing something God is teaching you with the group or talking about a verse you read that week.
Life gourps are not a place for:
- Unapproved materials or speakers
- Controversial topics
Your role as a Life Group Leader
God has a part for all of us to play in the church, and Life Group Leaders come alongside the pastors and staff of Passion to help care for people.
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
EPHESIANS 4:11-13 NLT
The primary role of a Life Group Leader is to help group members move one step in their walk with God.
Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds;
People in your group will be at different places in their spiritual lives and each person will have different next steps to take. Here is a guide of some next steps you can help people take:
- Start attending Sunday services
- Start reading the Bible regularly
- Start praying regularly
- Be water baptized
- Complete Passion Next Steps Classes
- Join the Dream Team
- Start tithing
- Start attending weekly prayer meeting
- Invite a friend or neighbor to church or a Life Group
- Attend a Life Group Leadership Training to become a Life Group Leader
How to be a successful Life Group Leader:
- Pray daily for the members of your group.
- Consider partnering with a co-leader to help share the responsibility of caring for and leading your group.
- Connect with group members between weekly meetings through phone, email, text, social media, or face-to-face. Encourage group members to connect with each other throughout the week as well.
- Have fun through laughter and by creating an enjoyable environment.
- Respect people’s time by beginning and ending your group on time.
- Invite group members to attend church services and events with you like Prayer Meeting, or outreach opportunities.
- Rally the group around a member going through a crisis. Use wisdom and be sensitive.
The Importance of Prayer
Prayer is a foundation of our church, and it is important for your Life Group.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 CHRONICLES 7:14
How to pray for your group:
- Pray for any requests group members share.
- Ask for the presence of the Holy Spirit in your group.
- Pray that God will open people’s hearts to hear His truth.
- Pray for authentic community to develop.
- Pray for wisdom and strength to lead your group well.
Confidence as a Life Group Leader
If you only do what you feel comfortable doing, you don’t need God. God’s best is often found outside your comfort zone.
When you serve God and people by leading a Life Group, He will equip you and give you the strength and wisdom to lead well.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
PHILIPPIANS 4:13 NLT
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 TIMOTHY 1:7 NLT
When you feel uncertain about leading a group, use Scripture to overcome the lies of the enemy:
1. When you feel like you don’t have the time, remember God has created you for this, and His timing is perfect.
If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.
ECCLESIASTES 11:4 TLB
2. When you feel unqualified, remember God has equipped you.
It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant.
2 CORINTHIANS 3:5-6 NLT
3. When you feel like your past disqualifies you, remember God uses imperfect people.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-4
When you feel like you don’t know how to help someone in your group, remember ESPN:
S: Share Scripture
N: Next Steps
As a Life Group Leader, you are never alone in creating community. We have pastors, staff, and the Life Groups Team who are all working alongside you to invest in great Life Groups at Passion.
As a Life Group Leader, you have a Coach paired with you to help as you need support throughout the semester.
Your Coach’s number one priority is to pray for you daily.
Reach out to your Coach if you have a need, prayer request, or concern.
Throughout the semester, respond to your Coach and the Life Groups team about group attendance, potential new Life Group Leaders, and how members are moving one step.
Preparing to Lead
All Life Group Leaders complete the following steps before leading:
- Become a member of Passion Church QC
- Complete the Passion Next Steps Classes
- Attend a Life Group Leadership Training
- Complete the Life Group Leadership Application
- Complete a Life Group Leadership one-on-one interview
- Sign the Life Group Leadership Commitment and Honor Code
HOW TO START YOUR LIFE GROUP
1. Ask God
Ask God for direction about what group to lead and who to invite.
Once you decide on a topic or activity for your group, choose a place and time to meet.
Register your group in the online Life Groups Directory at Passionqc.churchcenter.com so people can find it and contact you to attend.
Invite people you know or meet to come check out your group.
Pray for God to do great things through your Life Group.
Preparing for your group meetings:
- Send a message to group members reminding them about the first meeting.
- Arrive early to set up a welcoming environment.
- Consider having name tags available to help everyone learn names for the first few weeks.
Here are a couple conversation starters to help get people talking as your group gets to know each other:
- How did you learn about our group?
- What are your hobbies?
- What are you looking forward to this year?
- What brought you here?
- What are you hoping to get out of this Life Group?
As an essential part of the Passion Church QC Leadership family, you have a responsibility to develop and exhibit mature Christian behavior. This should be the heart of your desire to serve in a leadership position here at Passion Church QC.
While serving the Body of Christ as a Life Group Leader at Passion Church, you pledge to present a good appearance at all times. In both attire and behavior, you should strive to demonstrate Biblical standards in all situations.
As Christians, the way we present ourselves can influence the way others perceive Christ. Our conduct should never be an embarrassment to Christ, but should exemplify the best qualities of a mature believer and servant-leader.
Exemplifying the highest moral commitment, Passion Church leaders are to maintain a disciplined life of Bible reading, prayer, and fasting. You must also refrain from such things as:
- Indulging in too much wine or other alcoholic beverages (to the point of drunkenness)
- Dishonest gain
- Illicit drugs
- Sexual immorality, and all behaviors which might cause Christ to grieve and others to stumble
By providing an example in speech and action, we encourage others to grow in Christ and become servant-leaders themselves. This is a way of life measured by the heart and commitment of each leader in the Passion Church family. We should regard it as an essential part of our development, not as an imposition or restriction.
The same goes for those who want to be servants in the church: serious, not deceitful, not too free with the bottle, not in it for what they can get out of it. They must be reverent before the mystery of the faith, not using their position to try to run things. Let them prove themselves first. If they show they can do it, take them on. No exceptions are to be made for women—same qualifications: serious, dependable, not sharp-tongued, not overfond of wine. Servants in the church are to be committed to their spouses, attentive to their own children, and diligent in looking after their own affairs. Those who do this servant work will come to be highly respected, a real credit to this Jesus-faith.
1 TIMOTHY 3:8-10 MSG
- Sincere, worthy of respect, and of a good reputation.
- Tithe regularly to Passion Church.
- Have a genuine desire to serve and minister to other people.
- Able to lead, motivate, and teach other people.
- Able to create positive group dynamics, and deal with conflict resolution within the group.
ABUSE POLICY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I understand that Passion Church QC is a safe place for children and vulnerable adults and that Passion complies with all Federal and State laws regarding reporting suspected child abuse. As a Life Group Leader, I understand that suspected abuse is to be reported to the staff member who oversees the area in which I serve. I also understand the 4 types of abuse defined below:
Physical: A physical act directed at a child or vulnerable adult that causes injury;
Sexual: Contact or interactions between a child and an adult, or another child, when the child is being used for sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or another person. This includes exploitation through photographs, videos, or other communication methods;
Emotional: Acts or omissions by the parent or other caregivers that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or mental disorders;
Neglect: Failure to provide for the child or vulnerable adult’s basic needs. This includes adequate adult supervision, medical attention, housing, food, and clothing. Most cases of physical neglect involve inadequate adult supervision that has caused harm to the child or vulnerable adult, or places them in danger of such harm.
I understand it is not my responsibility to investigate and in no instance will I confront a parent or care giver if abuse is suspected. As a Life Group Leader, I agree to comply with this policy and report any suspected abuse to the staff person who oversees the area in which I serve.
GOOD QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU
How can I recruit people to come to my group?
- Start with people who are already in your sphere of influence (co-workers, friends, and neighbors).
- Find people around you who are new to the church, are new believers, or have shown interest in getting involved.
- Look for people you think you can help to realize their potential.
- Ask God to send the right people to your group.
Where can I hold my Life Group?
We encourage Life Groups to meet outside the church building in places where you like to spend your time. Some of the most common meeting places are homes, restaurants, parks, coffee shops, and office buildings.
Where can I find Life Group curriculums?
We have a variety of curriculum suggestions available to you at passionqc.church/groups.
Does my group have to meet weekly?
We encourage meeting weekly each semester in order to build genuine relationships.
Does Passion Church QC offer childcare during Life Group meetings?
You are welcome to choose to offer childcare at your Life Group.
Passion Church QC does not pay for childcare.
How do I measure if group members are moving one step?
Ask! Make it part of your discussion whether in a group setting or individually. Here are some great questions to guide your conversation:
- How did you get connected to this Life Group?
- What are you most looking forward to in the group?
- Do you attend Passion Church?
- What brought you to Passion Church?
- Have you ever been part of a Life Group before?
- What do you feel like God has been doing in your life lately?
- Are you familiar with 21 Days of Prayer?
- What areas of your faith are you hoping to grow in the coming months?
- What are you focused on in your life right now?
- Have you been through the Passion Church Next Steps Classes? Do you remember what your personality type is or what your spiritual gifts are?
- Have you ever served on the Passion Dream Team?
- How can I pray for you?
Everyone in your group will be at different places spiritually. The vision of helping them “move one step” is not to get them to do everything at once, it’s to help identify where they currently are spiritually and offer a practical next step to help them grow.
Here are some examples of next steps you can share depending where a group member is spiritually:
- Invite them to attend a Sunday service with you.
- Share your personal story and what God has been teaching you.
- Share how the Next Steps Classes can help them discover their purpose and invite them to attend.
- Invite them to consider being water baptized. Invite your Life Group to be there to celebrate anyone getting baptized.
- Share how you find time regularly to pray, worship, and read God’s Word, and encourage them to make their own plan for time with God.
- If they are ready to receive Christ, offer to pray with them.
- Encourage them to learn more about areas like tithing, the Holy Spirit, prayer, and spiritual warfare by listening past messages at passionqc.church.
What should I do if someone asks a question I can’t answer?
It’s okay to not have all the answers. Thankfully, we can find guidance through prayer, God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit. Encourage them to spend time reading the Bible and praying. Also, let them know that you will do your best to get some information and get back with them at your next Life Group meeting. Do some personal research and call your coach to get advice.
What should I do if someone in my group shares something with me (or the group) that requires attention beyond what I (or we) can provide?
If you encounter a difficult situation within your Life Group, please know that you are not alone. If a member is going through a crisis, you can rally the group around them to provide prayer, encouragement, and support. Use wisdom and be sensitive to the situation. If you are unsure of what to do, don’t hesitate to ask your Coach. Also, you and/or the group member can call the Life Groups Ministry Team at (319) 651-5116 or (309) 558-4479, if needed.
How can I share stories of life change from the Life Group semester?
We love hearing about lives that are changed through Life Groups. You can share your stories with your Coach. You can also share your own personal stories through social media and tag #passionlifegroups
HELPFUL SCRIPTURE REFERENCES
At Passion Church we believe ministering through the Word of God is the most powerful way to care for people. As you pray over a Life Group member, try inserting that member’s name in the Scripture to make it more personalized.
As a leader, we encourage you to find and memorize at least three Scriptures, which will equip you when you are walking someone through a tough situation, as well as give you strength as a leader throughout the semester.
Here is a list of powerful Scriptures that you can apply to any situation:
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
MARK 12:30-31 NKJV
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
PHILIPPIANS 4:13 NKJV
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
ISAIAH 55:8-9 NLT
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
1 JOHN 5:14-15
No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord.
ISAIAH 54:17 NKJV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
ROMANS 8:28 ESV
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago
EPHESIANS 2:10 NLT
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
ROMANS 8:39 NLT
Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never, never fail you nor forsake you.” That is why we can say without any doubt or fear, “The Lord is my Helper, and I am not afraid of anything that mere man can do to me.”
HEBREWS 13:5-6 TLB
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
ISAIAH 41:10 NLT
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-7
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
ROMANS 10:17 ESV
One day the apostles said to the Lord, “We need more faith; tell us how to get it.” “If your faith were only the size of a mustard seed,” Jesus answered, “it would be large enough to uproot that mulberry tree over there and send it hurtling into the sea! Your command would bring immediate results!”
LUKE 17:5-6 TLB
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
PROVERBS 11:14 ESV
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
ROMANS 8:1-2 NLT
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-14