Over the past several Sundays we have been talking about our exciting new ministry, Life Groups! Life Groups will provide an opportunity for you to become part of a smaller group of people where you can connect more deeply and experience the care and community God designed into the DNA of His Church.
Soon we will begin urging everyone to choose a Life Group to join. (Life Groups will start up in September.) But lest I get ahead of myself (!), I want to tell you a little about the path we have walked that has brought us to this point.
In short, God has been leading us in this direction for many years and in many ways. The “us” in that sentence refers especially to church leadership—elders and staff, past and present—but also includes volunteer ministry leaders and various church members.
On January 8, 2005 I met with current and previous elders to talk about the mission the Lord has for Clinton Evangelical Free Church. That began an 18-24 month-long process of studying the Bible, praying, and discussing. Our mission statement, based in Matthew 28:18-20 and other key Scripture passages, was birthed: Forming followers of Jesus who impact their world.
We then focused on vision—how would we seek to accomplish that mission practically, strategically? What would discipleship intentionally pursued look like at CEFC? More Bible study, prayer, reading, discussion, conversations, and elder retreats. A key outcome from that process was the decision to focus on men’s and women’s ministry as primary paths for discipling adults to follow Jesus. God has blessed and used Daughters of the King and Men of Honor in the succeeding years. Lives have been changed for Christ.
In recent years we have given further attention to making disciples, asking especially how we can do this even more effectively and intentionally. Understanding the vital role of relationships in becoming more like Jesus, we asked, “How can we provide avenues for connection and care more broadly within the church body?”
This latter focus, and the prayer, etc. that followed it, have brought us to today: Life Groups! Looking back on how God has led us to this point makes us excited about where He will yet take us!