In our training materials we often use the example of a tree. Trees grow and bring shade from the sun and fruit for everyone in the community. A tree must grow in the soil in which it is planted; it cannot wish or hope to grow somewhere else or with resources from elsewhere. We explain that people can be like trees in and for their community.
We believe it is important to give people inspiration about what and how they can contribute to the life that God has for everyone. Practical education and good ideas can make the all-important difference for many people. You can be willing, but not know how to make a difference. However, setting people free from the curse of having ‘hope’ and ‘dependency’ in those outside of their community is very important. Using the talents, relationships, resources and lives that are within the community provide the catalyst for everyone. That is a lesson for each of us, wherever we are. Our ongoing Deeper campaign is about giving everyone the opportunity to take part. We are working towards each existing Life Group being able to plant another Life Group. We want to see a critical mass of active Christians affecting change, leading to thriving communities and lives full of hope! To help make this happen we have taken two key steps.
1. Clusters: Our Impact Teams have gathered Life Group leaders into local clusters. By increasing connection between Life Groups, we are strengthening and building identity within an area and providing a natural network of people working together. Clusters also allow local leadership to arise within each area.
2. Plant: We have written Plant; a short, simple training module that Life Group leaders can work through together. It teaches how to help someone else plant a Life Group. Simple…and powerful! We have translated and produced Plant in English, Bemba and Lunda. We are working on further translations.
Already we are seeing the fruit of our work. We recently heard that 8 new Life Groups had sprung up in the Chinshinki area after clusters were formed and Plant was shared. This is really encouraging and an answer to prayer. Join us in praying for further multiplication!
As we reflect on the last 10 years and look towards the future, we believe there are 2 other key steps we now need to take to help equip many more people.
Digital Access: By 2019 we want to provide our materials digitally, making them easily accessible to those in remote locations wherever they are in the world. This will give the opportunity for Life Groups to spread beyond our reach and at a much quicker pace.
Equipping Others: People have remarked that the simple approach of Life Groups could be used in many other areas. We want to compile an ‘away kit’ that others can use to pass on the idea of Life Groups wherever they may have connections. This could be used on short term mission or by other organisations to raise up the people God has placed in an area they are visiting or working in. We have partnered with 1 church to test run the ‘away kit’ and are excited to see what God does through their work. Contact us if you would like to try it too!
In this world, we need God, we need each other and our society desperately requires what we can achieve together for the good of everyone.