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Hello and welcome to Living Hope’s Discipleship and Groups Guide. Becoming a mature disciple of Jesus Christ is the command of Jesus for every Christian and the purpose of life groups at Living Hope is to make mature disciples of Jesus Christ in Clarksville. As Jesus said,

“…All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV) Matthew 28:18-20

This resource explains why we organize our church to obey Jesus’ command through lifegroups and what groups do to create environments where spiritual growth as a disciple comes naturally.

You may ask, “What is a disciple?” We recognize disciples as people who Know God, Grow in the likeness of Christ in community, and Go and Make more disciples of Jesus Christ. Stated another way, a disciple is someone who is following Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and is committed to Jesus’ kingdom mission.

To express their Christlike identity, life group leaders and group members create a monthly rhythm that includes the following life-changing practices: a family meal and Bible study, third place gatherings, and separate meetings of life transformation groups (LTGs).

The Family Meal and Bible Study: A gathering where a meal is prepared on site or potluck with the entire group praying, eating, conversing, supporting, and cleaning up together as a family.

Third Place Gatherings: Actively helping another group in our community to experience Jesus through prayer, serving, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ on a regular basis. A group could focus on a neighborhood, sports club, school club, a work group, an underserved group of people or any network of relationships with a connection to the small group.

Life Transformation Groups (LTGs) are groups of 3-5 men or women of the same gender from within the small group who meet on a regular basis for the purpose of accountability, encouragement, and prayer.

Each group’s monthly rhythm is driven by their Mission Vision as they answer the question, “How would God have us help our specific pocket of people who are far away from God to experience the life changing presence of Jesus through prayer, serving, and sharing the Gospel?”

Groups progress in their development as Christ followers and missionaries at different rates. Though not a hard and fast rule, groups will multiply in 12-24 months, making room for new leaders to grow and God’s kingdom to expand to new neighborhoods and relational networks. This process of multiplying leaders and groups to reach our city is built on the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit working through us.

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (ESV) Acts 2:42-47


Rich Whitaker
Discipleship Pastor