For such a time as this
Small groups have always been the foundational building block of the church. Life Groups are an expression of these that help everyday people to become beacons of hope in their community. Life Groups bring people to Jesus and teach a new way of living, building unity and transforming communities holistically; bringing life in all its fullness.
In the uncertainty of 2020 we saw the power of trusting and equipping people to carry the work of God in their own communities. Through Life Groups people came to know Jesus and were loved and supported in practical ways in a year of great need. Life Group members were “oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour.” (Isaiah 61:1-4)
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A bigger dream
In 2019, we asked ourselves where we wanted to be in 10 years’ time. Our aspiration was and still is to see 500,000 Life Groups meeting by 2029! That would mean 10 million people talking about the truth of Jesus, creating community and showing love to those around them. This is a task that Dignity cannot achieve alone. We believe that God is saying the time is ‘now’ to speak and influence others, to inspire, enable & encourage everyday people, people just like you and me. Through them, many others will come to know Jesus and find freedom from poverty.
To achieve this will require three things of Dignity. We must continue to enable the ‘least’ to plant Life Groups. We must also convince and teach others to plant groups through their own ministry and areas of influence. In addition, we must influence the thinking and wider agenda of God’s people to use and adapt Life Group, or small group, methodology to release people in their own settings. As you read on, we hope you will be inspired to be part of the adventure!
‘The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40 (NIV)
A pioneering spirit
In 2019 we were investing time and effort in decoupling the growth of Life Groups from our ability to physically visit a place. We were asking how we support and even grow our work online, how teams can support Life Groups at distance and how Life Groups can support communities, right where they are and as they are ideally positioned to do. As events of 2020 unfolded, we accelerated those plans!
Through our fledgling digital and in-print distribution channels, we shared reliable information about COVID-19. We fast-tracked the creation, translation, and distribution of this resulting in many people feeling safer, seen, and valuable. Life Groups became a source of hope and comfort to communities. Sharing our Love Your Village course digitally led to people asking, “How can we do this where we are?” with our Impact Teams supporting them by phone as they started new Life Groups.
Hot off the press, our Journey course means that anyone, anywhere can now learn how to start a Life Group movement, pioneering the work of Life Groups in new areas.
The power of people
This year, we have all been reminded of the importance of connection to people! Life Groups have used imagination to continue loving their communities, helping those in need and sharing encouragement. This has led to people giving their lives to Jesus & new groups starting, creating places for discipleship & help for those in need. You will read some of their stories on the following pages.
We have maintained a determined focus, on connecting with Life Groups across sub-Saharan Africa and helping them connect with one another. We are actively reaching out to others to invite them to be part of the Life Group movement that is extending the kingdom of God. As we share many of their stories over the coming weeks, we invite you to stand with us and the people you will read about. Look out for ways you can do this alongside each article and pray for each person as you read their story!
A unique opportunity to give
As we step with faith towards the bigger dream God has given us we are actively seeking new partners who will invest in this vision with us through regular giving. As you read the stories of Life Groups & all they are doing, please ask God if you should stand with them in this way. Details of how to give are available here or you can contact us by email or phone on +44(0)7340 573 937. Thank you!