why life groups?
Here at River Valley, Life Groups are the hub of our ministry. They are the place where you get connected to others, share life together and are encouraged to grow spiritually. We believe spiritual growth happens when people get connected to Jesus, His Word, and to one another. We gather together to share what God is doing in each other's hearts and lives. We study the Word of God and discus how to walk this out in daily life while supporting one another through prayer and discipleship as we engage gospel living beyond the walls of the church. This time of meeting together on a regular basis is time well spent. It is our goal to have every member of our church involved in either a Life Group or another similar small group experience.
How do they work?
A Life Group is made up of 8-16 people who meet weekly to share, study/discuss and support one another. A trained leader and host lead each group. An average meeting lasts for an hour and a half, usually followed by light refreshments. Life Groups require a ten-week commitment, and meet for three 10-12 week sessions from mid-September through June, taking a break during the summer months.
life group seasons
Sign-ups will be held the three weeks before each season begins.
Fall Season 2019 - Sep 15 – Dec 1
Winter Season 2020 - Jan 12 - March 15
Spring Season 2020 - April 5 - June 14
Life Group FAQs > What is a Life Group?
A Life Group (LG) is a small group (approx..8-16 people) who meet weekly to share, study/discuss and support one another. A trained leader facilitates each group. An average meeting lasts for an hour and a half, usually followed by light refreshments. Life Groups meet at various times and places (mostly homes) throughout the week all throughout our city and community.
How Important are Life Groups?
Here at River Valley Church, Life Groups are the hub of our ministry. They are the place where you get connected to others, share life together and are encouraged to grow spiritually. We believe spiritual growth happens when people get connected to Jesus, His Word, and to one another. The real ministry of the church takes place in Life Groups. This time meeting together on a regular basis is time well spent. (Hebrews 10:24,25)
How Long Do They Last?
Each Life Group season lasts 10—12 weeks. We have Fall, Winter & Spring seasons. At the end of each season, you will have the choice of staying in the same group, trying a new group or even taking a break. Most groups stay together throughout the entire year. Life Groups do not meet mid-June through mid-September.
What is the Required Commitment?
Joining a Life Group requires a 10—12 week commitment to attend weekly meetings and do some lesson prep ahead of time. Obviously, allowances are made for sickness, vacation, work conflicts and other special events, but not much more. This commitment is the key to a strong Life Group. You have the first three weeks to attend the group to make sure it’s a good fit for you.
What Will We Study/Discuss?
Most of the lessons are based on the previous weekend’s message. These “sermon-based” Life Groups are built on what we call a “Lecture-Lab” model. Imagine the weekend message as a lecture on Christian living and the Life Group as a lab where you get to roll up your sleeves and discuss how the weekend’s message works in real life.
Each week there will be a series of Bible passages and questions on the back of the sermon note sheet to study before the meeting. It will usually take 15-20 minutes per week to prep for the lesson. You don’t have to know much about the Bible to participate.
What Does it Cost?
Few things in life are free and Life Groups are no exception! The cost of Life Groups is the cost of commitment. During the first meeting, each group will complete an “LG Commitment” together. This simple form helps each group discuss their priorities and expectations. Part of that LG Commitment is the agreement to attend each week, do some lesson prep as well as seeking to participate in occasional socials and service projects. You have the first three weeks to decide if your group is a good fit for you.
When you join a Life Group, you are agreeing to attend and be prepared each week. It is this commitment that makes Life Groups work. We realize it is a big commitment, but it is more than worth it, and it only lasts for 10—12 weeks with three built-in breaks. At the end of each season, you have the choice of recommitting for another season, trying a new group, or taking a break from Life Groups altogether.
What About Child Care?
We recommend that Life Groups are for adults only. (Exceptions can be made for nursing newborns). Although a few groups do offer childcare at their meetings, we leave it up to each family to work out their own childcare. Sometimes it works best for families to share a sitter. We realize this is a big commitment but the best spiritual gift you can give your kids is growing parents. We believe that your spiritual growth in a Life Group is one of the best investments you can make in your child.
An excellent option is AWANA (3 years – 5th grade). Awana is a mid-week ministry for children where they will memorize verses, play games, sing worship songs, and hear a short message from the Bible. Cubbies (3-4 years), Sparks (K-2nd), Truth & Training (3rd-6th). Infant/toddler care is also available for those attending the Thursday evening service or participating in a Life Group at that time. This is held Thursdays @ 6-7:30pm at the River Valley Downtown Campus the cost is $30 (covers all dues, vest/shirt, and book - scholarships available) Infants/Toddlers are free. Register your kiddos here!
How Do I Choose a Group?
When selecting a group, there are a couple of different criteria to assist you in your selection. First, you can choose a group based on the days and times that work best for your schedule. Second, you may select a group based on its leader-host team. Third, you may be interested in a group with common age/interests or specialty groups (focusing on a special topic or support). And fourth, you may decide based on its location.
If you have any questions (especially if you are new to River Valley Church), please do not hesitate to call the church, and we will gladly assist you. Keep in mind that it might take two or three groups before you find the perfect fit, but don’t worry, you will find it!
Are There Groups for Teenagers?
Yes, our Mid-High and High School ministries both offer small groups for students. For more information about Mid-High or High School groups, contact our Church Office at 541-476-7761 or use our Contact Us form.
How Do I Sign-Up for a Group?
Before each Life Group season begins there are three ways to sign-up for a group: online, at our weekend services, or by calling the church office. During the weekend services, Life Group staff members and pastors are available at the sign-up tables to help you choose a group and answer any questions. Booklets are available at the tables with general information about our open Life Groups. There are three sign-up weekends before the beginning of each of our Seasons (Fall, Winter, Spring).
You can call the Life Group office at any time to speak with Life Group staff members who can assist you in finding and signing up for a group, or answer any questions at 541-476-7761 x136.