Life Groups A Word from Pastor Rob Bedard
When my wife, Lorinda, and I moved from Vancouver Island to Edmonton, we experienced reverse-empty-nesting. No, our young adult children did not return home after living on their own for a while. Rather, we moved away and left behind our two adult sons as they pursued their fulltime university education. I knew the move away from our boys, not to mention the church family we loved, was going to be challenging for us both, but especially for Lorinda.
After experiencing reverse-empty-nesting and after saying goodbye to decade-long friends, we faced a most daunting task: Forge new friendships in our new city, province, denomination and large church. My first role on staff at Beulah Alliance Church was to develop and coach missionally-minded house group leaders and leadership teams. At Beulah, they call them Mid-Sized Communities (MSCs); here at CLA, we call them Life Groups. Whatever we call them, for Lorinda and me, they have become our social, emotional and spiritual lifeline.
Our Life Group cares for each other, prays with each other, and tangibly supports each other through life’s most challenging predicaments. When we are with our Life Group friends, either in our in-person bi-weekly gatherings, or informally visiting in each other’s homes, we are with family! If this pandemic has revealed anything to us, it is our shared and deep-seeded need for human connection. This shouldn’t surprise us. God hardwired our need for community into our DNA. God declared, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Gen 2:18). However, ever since, men and women have been desperately pursuing intimate, meaningful relationships.
Today, more than ever before, as people’s pursuits have been hijacked by pandemic social distancing, mental health hotlines have been congested with calls, and counseling offices have been filling up with clients devoid of healthy, meaningful, functional relationships. What an opportunity this pandemic has brought our Life Groups! We can offer others our friendship along with our faith. We can help our neighbours belong before they even come to believe.
Due to physical distancing limitations in our Life Group homes, we urgently need more Life Group leaders who sense God’s call and who are open to training on how to launch and lead neighbourhood Life Groups. If that’s you, then I am interested in chatting about this with you.
Please contact me at your convenience here.
Pastor Rob Bedard