Life Groups are the primary method by which Dignity seeks to work in village and community settings.
Life groups are simply small groups of people, anything from five to thirty people. Life Groups members are people from different backgrounds in the community. Whilst the group has a Christian identity, it is not exclusive and anyone is free to attend and participate.
We designed Life Groups to achieve three keys goals:
1. To unify and make effective the work of the church in the community, focusing on rural and remote areas.
2. To help those in need by forming and encouraging a group of people to be community activists, taking responsibility for those who are suffering within their community.
3. To see a wider change and transformation of the community by shaping its life and character through involvement in the life of the community.
The first Life Groups were planted in 2008. Today there are hundreds of Life Groups across different nations with thousands of members.
We have seen the difference that Life Groups and the individuals within them make and the social enterprises they undertake. They care for their neighbours, they feed the hungry, take care of orphans, accept the outcasts and instigate community development projects. In short they challenge the status quo, transforming the lives of those around them and the wider community.
Our 10th birthday timeline captures many of the amazing things Life Groups have done.
An investment in Life Groups will continue to bear fruit long after it has been given.
An investment of:
£91.50 will plant a Life Group.
£45 will plant a social enterprise.
£4.60 will disciple one more person for a whole year.
In 2018 Dignity will:
Spend £20,870 on 76 Life Group Training Courses to plant 228 new Life Groups and disciple 4,560 people, touching the lives of 13,680 people and leading to 456 social enterprises.
In addition, in 2019 these groups will:
Plant a further 46 Life Groups discipling 920 more people, touching the lives of 2,760 more people and leading to 92 social enterprises.
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.