Life Groups

Unifying the church | Helping those in need | Shaping community

Life Groups are the primary method by which Dignity works in village and community settings.

Life groups are of between 5 and 30 people drawn from different backgrounds in the community. Life Groups are led by volunteers we have trained. Commonly they are found in rural and remote communities but can be planted anywhere. Whilst the groups have a Christian identity, anyone is free to attend and participate.

We designed Life Groups to achieve three keys goals:

1. Learning Together: Life Groups unify and make effective the work of the church in the community. As everyone is welcome, Life Groups are building bridges between churches and the wider community. They meet together to study the gospel and help people apply the truth of it to their everyday lives.

2. Taking Action: Life Groups form community cohesion and encourage members to work together and take responsibility for those who are suffering in their community. They have welcomed the outcasts, cared for the elderly or sick, provided food for the hungry and healed this sick through prayer.

3. Working for change: Life Groups  advocate for transformation by facing the challenges in their communities in appropriate and sustainable ways. They undertake practical community projects and they challenge negative social norms that have become deeply rooted and hold people in poverty.

The first Life Groups were planted in 2008. Today there are hundreds of Life Groups across different nations with thousands of members.

The difference Life Groups make

Life Groups spiritually and physically change a community. It is a simple equation; the greater the number of groups and the stronger they are, the greater the number of people who are reached, lives transformed and sustainable community interventions. Supporting the formation of Life Groups directly reaches and equipes everyday people.

The number of Life Groups keeps on multiplying. We designed them with resisting dependency in mind meaning they are free to grow, multiply and make a difference without the constant requirement for outside funds and leadership. The wisdom of this approach is seen in today’s phenomenal growth.

Our yearly timeline captures many of the amazing lives and everyday miracles resulting from Life Groups.

Growth of Life Groups

The Data

An investment in Life Groups will continue to bear fruit long after it has been given.

An investment of:

£136 will plant a Life Group.

£68 will plant a social enterprise.

In 1 year a Life Group results in:

20 people deeply knowing the gospel.

2 social enterprises.

60 people benefiting from the practical work of the group.

These benefits will be multiplied in following years.

In 2019 Dignity will:

Spend £40,238 on 75 Life Group Training Courses to plant 295 new Life Groups which will disciple 5,900 people and touch the lives of 17,700 people and lead to 590 social enterprises. This is in addition to the work of existing 692 Life Groups.

Latest news from Life Groups

Choosing not to dance

Tiwonge* lives in Petauke, Zambia, where traditional dancing for chiefs and the men of the community is common. For an outsider it can look overtly sexual, that’s because sometimes it is. The young girls who participate in the dancing often have no say in what happens afterwards. 15 young girls have been coming to the […]

Unity during election season

Over the last weeks in Zambia, hundreds of people have adorned red and green t-shirts, hats and fabrics proudly displaying the colours of either UPND or PF, the two main political parties in Zambia. Election season has seen cadres (political campaigners) playing loud music and sensitising the electorate to the benefits of either party. There’s […]

Seeing Life Groups Start Part 3

Jon invited Life Group Members to his home in Mkushi, Zambia. He posed to them a simple question: How have you seen new Life Groups start? One man said told the story of how his own Life Group came to be. Several people from his community had attended a Life Group training day and felt […]

The Small Print

To calculate overall numbers, we use a number of estimations based on evidence taken from a sample of Life Groups. The key estimations we have used are as follows.

1. A mature Life Group will have between 10 and 30 members. We calculate total membership based on 20 people per group.

2. Based on anecdotal evidence, we estimate that for every 10 Life Group members 1 social enterprise will begin. This may be a community project such as road mending or caring for the elderly, or it may be an individual response caring for a neighbour or someone who is sick.

3. We assume that every Life Group member touches the lives of at least 3 people. In reality it is probably many more than this as whole families, villages and communities benefit from the personal growth of Life Group members.