If you hang around Christ Redeemer Church for long, you’ll hear about our core values of Gospel, Community, and Mission. As a church, we aim to make disciples of Jesus through gospel-centered community on mission for the glory of God and the joy of all peoples. The purpose of our Life Groups ministry is to mobilize our church for that gospel-centered “life together on mission.” While no group will be perfect, we expect that involvement in our Life Groups will provide the best chance for the most robust experience of our church’s core values, as well as to provide a structure for wider church communication, pastoral oversight, and care.

Gospel | Community | Mission

Gospel — Life Group involvement will help our people to understand the gospel of Jesus more deeply and apply it more broadly throughout life. The Gospel is the “good news about Jesus Christ,” namely, that Jesus died for our sins and rose again (1Cor.15:3-4) and in him “the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mk.1:15). That really is the gospel “in a nutshell.” It’s a simple thing to say, yet we’ll spend a lifetime discerning what it means for our personal identity, how we understand God, how we perceive and engage the world around us, how we interpret Scripture and so on. And Life Groups are intended to help.

Community The gospel of Jesus is good news not only about our forgiveness and favor with God; it’s also the good news that in our union with Jesus by faith, we become “members of the household of God” (Eph.2:19). Life Groups will help to cultivate the spirit of that gospel-centered family identity. And, as part of God’s family, Life Groups will help us to engage with the many “one another” commands for God’s people that we find in the NT. For example, Love one another (Jn.13:34); Rejoice with one another (Ro.12:15); Weep with one another (Ro.12:15); Counsel one another (Ro.15:14); Care for one another (1Cor.12:25); Carry one another’s burdens (Gal.6:2); Forgive one another (Eph.4:32); Stir up one another to love and good works (Heb.10:24); Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another (Jas.5:16). Teach, admonish each other (Col.3:16); etc.

Mission — The gospel of Jesus motivates us to join the mission of Jesus. Life Groups will help members to show and share the gospel of Jesus so that others, too, might experience newness of life in him with his community. “Jesus said to them... the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (Jn.20:2).

Life Group Rhythms

These values —Gospel, Community and Mission— are what bind a Life Group together. They are the priorities we want our Life Groups to enjoy and pursue and share. And, like the structure of a trellis helps a vine to grow, so each group will mature on a “trellis” of monthly rhythms: DNAs, Family Meals and Missional Engagement. Taken together, these provide outlets for each group to encourage hope in Jesus and to stir intentionality in mission.

-DNA (2-4 times/mo) DNA groups are gender-specific sub-sets of our Life Groups. These groups commit to regular meetings to patiently admonish, encourage and help one another in the “the good fight of faith” (1Tim.6:12; Lk.10:27; 1Thess.5:14; Col.4:3; 2Tim.2:22; Jas.1:22, 5:16). DNA groups engage three primary elements: 1) D - Discover. “Discover” what God is saying. Listen for God together, mainly in Scripture, but also through other Scripture- rooted material (e.g., books, articles, sermons) and spiritual gifts. 2) N - Nurture. Care for one another. Share with each other “glad-sad-bad” —i.e., share your joy, hardship and sin. Then, encourage one another with gospel care, discussing how the gospel might bear on these things. 3) A - Act. Prayerfully consider together what actions the Spirit may be directing in light of Scripture and the group’s discussion. What to do? What to stop doing? Who to tell? Etc.

-Family Meal (1-4 times/mo) The Family Meal is a gathering of the whole Life Group (men, women, children) to cultivate unity and the spirit of family in the group. We like to say that “The church is not a meeting we attend, but a family to which we belong.” A typical Family Meal will last between 1.5 - 3 hours, depending on the group. Each group has freedom to decide for itself how the time will be used. Mainly, that will include a meal and informal time spent simply enjoying one another’s company. It might also include a discussion around some topic/material (e.g., Bible, book, sermon). The Family Meal also provides a helpful context for concerted efforts in prayer and the practice of spiritual gifts. Additionally, it provides a good space to welcome guests or those who might be newcomers to the wider church body.

-Missional Engagement (Ongoing) Missional Engagement is the intentional effort of a Life Group to challenge and encourage its members in ministry to others outside of the group itself. At times, this ministry will manifest in the group as individuals reaching out to people in their personal spheres of influence. In other seasons, the whole group may take up a single ministry “focus” to which all the members are giving their shared effort.

One way to frame up the idea of Missional Engagement is to “think B.I.G.” —“B” = Build relationships with non-Christians. “I” = Include non-Christians in your Christ- centered community. “G” = Share the Gospel. These are not sequentially ordered steps, nor are they necessarily the work of just one person. They are interconnected movements in a missional life lived within a supportive gospel-centered community.

Missional Engagement is about connecting with neighbors, friends, co-workers or family members... [it’s about] having meaningful conversations, being present with people around us, making time for our neighbors, listening to what’s going on in their lives and hospitality. [It means] demonstrating a different way of life so that people can see how we live and how God lives through us... (M. Scott Boren).


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Thomas Rydland