Find Community in Life Groups
The best way to get connected at Church of the Chimes is by joining one of our Life Groups. We meet in locations all across the city in homes, coffeeshops and workplaces for a time of fun, relationship, bible study and prayer.
WHAT IS A LIFE GROUP?
A Life Group is 4-20 people gathering in a leader’s home or at a designated Life Group room at the church building on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis to share food, fellowship, Bible study, and prayer. Life Groups exist to accomplish two vital goals of the Kingdom. First, to edify believers by connecting them on a more intimate level and helping them to become more like Jesus. The second goal is to evangelize by offering another venue besides the regular church service that may be initially less intimidating to seekers and those interested in finding out more about Jesus.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A LIFE GROUP?
When you attend a Life Group you can expect a warm time of fellowship, food, Bible study and prayer. Life Groups are open to Christians and those who are seeking or investigating Jesus and His message. Long-term trust and relationships are nurtured and loving support and accountability as followers of Jesus are cultivated on an ongoing basis.
IS THERE CHILDCARE?
Each group is responsible for providing their own childcare. The Elders and Pastors strongly encourage and ask each Life Group to include their children in some part of the group time and then allow for separate time specifically tailored for both the adults and children. Some practical suggestions regarding childcare can include parents chipping in together to hire a babysitter either at the place they meet or at a nearby home. Each group can decide how to handle this issue in the most appropriate way for their group.
ARE THERE GROUPS THAT HAVE MARRIED COUPLES AND SINGLES TOGETHER?
Yes! There are Life Groups that contain both singles and married couples together. We encourage this mixture so that singles can experience healthy, Christ-like examples of real married life. It is also an opportunity for married couples to support and understand the challenges and values of a single lifestyle.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A GROUP GROWS OVER 20 ADULTS?
One of the intrinsic values of Life Groups is that they are small which enables them to foster a more intimate atmosphere of trust, accountability, and personal spiritual growth. Small intimate groups represent the model of the New Testament Church.
(Acts 2; Philemon 1:2; Col. 4:15; 1 Cor. 16:19, etc). When a group of adults number 14 or more, it’s time to begin planning a Life Group Birthing. A birthing takes place when part of the group establishes another Life Group independent of their parent Life Group. Like natural birth, this at first can seem painful, especially because a group has built strong intimate relationships. But the heart of the Kingdom of God is about reproducing disciples, and birthing new Life Groups not only improves opportunity for intimacy and accountability, but also increases opportunity for others to join who are not members of a Life Group. In these situations we strongly encourage a parent group and its birthed group(s) to still get together occasionally (bi-annual or annual) for a special reunion time of fellowship.
WHEN AND WHERE DO LIFE GROUPS MEET?
Life Groups can meet almost any day and time of the week. Most of them meet on evenings or weekends, although there are some that meet during the day. While most groups meet in a consistent location (the home of a leader or group member), some groups prefer to take turns meeting in different members’ homes in San Jose and the Bay area. There are also rooms at COTC that can be reserved for regular Life Group meetings.
HOW OFTEN DO LIFE GROUPS MEET?
Groups can meet weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly. We encourage at least a bi-weekly meeting and ask that no Life Group meet less than monthly.
HOW LONG DOES EACH LIFE GROUP MEETING LAST?
Each Life Group picks the length of time they will meet, however most groups meet for two to three hours to accommodate a time of fellowship, Bible study, and prayer.
WHAT GOES ON AT A LIFE GROUP MEETING?
Though each group differs in how they do things, many groups enjoy a time of food and fellowship in the beginning, then they transition to a time when they share in Bible study and pray for each other. Each group decides how much time they will spend on fellowship, Bible study sharing, and prayer.
WHAT DO LIFE GROUPS STUDY?
Each Life Group will have a structured study that revolves around God’s Word. Examples of a structured study are things like:
A chapter-by-chapter study of one book of the Bible
A One-Year Bible study
Sermons or Sermon Series by Respected Teachers / Preachers
A Bible based Christian book
DVD Series (Beth Moore, Francis Chan, Focus on the Family, etc.)
Whatever curriculum is chosen, the main time and discussion should revolve around each person sharing “What God is Teaching Me” from Scripture.
HOW DO I JOIN A LIFE GROUP?
Interested in joining a Life Group? It’s easy. Click the link below or contact one of our staff and let them know you’re interested.
HOW DO I BECOME A LIFE GROUP LEADER OR START A NEW LIFE GROUP?
To be a candidate for becoming a Life Group Leader or to start a new Life Group, the candidate must first meet with the Pastors, complete the Life Groups Leadership Training class, and finally serve as a co-leader of an existing Life Group for a period of time. The role of a Life Group Leader is very similar to that of a Deacon in Scripture
(see Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim. 3:8-12).
Therefore the Elders and Pastors are diligent to make sure those interested in becoming a leader or starting a Life Group are spiritually mature and equipped for the responsibility.