The purpose of ARC Life Together Groups is to provide a safe place where leaders can meet in an intentional manner to share life and ministry together so they can:
- continue growing as followers of Christ who are being transformed to think, speak, and act more like Jesus
- position themselves in relationships that provide the support and encouragement required to navigate life and ministry in emotionally, relationally, and spiritually healthy ways
- help one another hear, process, and discern how to faithfully respond to what God is saying to them and wanting to do in their lives
- be further equipped and empowered for effective leadership and management of ministry
Benefits and Goals
Build Kingdom Friendships in a Safe Place - You will have the opportunity to grow in friendships with other leaders as you meet together in a setting that is a safe place for nurturing authentic relationships. You'll experience relationships with other leaders who are for you and against anything that will harm you.
Contend in Prayer for God's Purposes - You will experience being in relationship with other leaders who are intentional about contending in prayer for you, your family, and any life and ministry situations you share with them.
Stay Connected, Refreshed, and Ministered To - ARC Life Together Groups will enable you to stay connected with other like-minded leaders. You will be refreshed as you gather together at the same time in the same place (even if it is via video) to be with one another and the Lord. You will be ministered to by God in the context of these relationships, and you will experience the power of God at work in your life through gifts such as personal prayer and prophetic ministry.
Authentic Transformation - In the context of relationships that are safe you will experience God's transforming work in your life, enabling you to become more emotionally, relationally, and spiritually healthy and whole.
Nurturing a Unique Spiritual DNA - You will help one another embrace and nurture the unique spiritual DNA God has given us in the ARC. That DNA embraces the evangelical, charismatic, and sacramental streams of the Christian faith, celebrates the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit, and is committed to ministering the non-negotiable core values God has called the ARC to.
- There is no financial cost for being part of an ARC Life Together Group.
- Each group embraces and is influenced by the values for the ARC in general and for Life Together Groups in particular
- Each group will have a facilitator who is committed to being on a journey themselves toward personal health and wholeness, will schedule and convene the group's meetings, will pray for the group between meetings, and together with group members, will listen for the Holy Spirit's leading and help guide the group each time it meets in regard to what will be discussed and processed.
- Each group gathers together on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis -- you choose.
- There is no predetermined length of time for how long each ARC Life Together Group is committed to being together. The group members will determine this on a group-by-group basis.
- Each group will gather together in a shared geographic region or via Skype, Google+ Hangout, or Zoom video if members are located in different locations.
- Each group gets to know one another and one another's family and ministry context.
- Each group will listen for the leading of the Holy Spirit each time it meets, taking advantage of teachable moments going on in one another's lives regarding both life and ministry issues; using specifically selected questions from the Connexions model of discipleship and leadership development; and processing leadership and discipleship questions, rhythms, and issues.
- Each time a group meets they check in with one another on how they have been doing regarding life or ministry issues; on follow-up from previous weeks' discussions, goals, and actions for encouragement and support; and regarding a specific question they were assigned the previous meeting to be thinking about.
- Each group will pray for one another during the group time and away from the group.
- The group will close in prayer and depart in peace
In addition to the ARC core values that will influence and guide these groups, specific core values for Life Together Groups include the following:
Relationships that are authentic and safe - We are committed to growing in relationships that are authentic and safe so we can be transformed to think, speak, and act more like Jesus. Our relationships will provide an atmosphere of freedom to be authentically who we are with no fear of being judged, shamed, or discarded. in the context of these relationships we seek to bring God's healing combination of grace and truth to bear on our lives that we might be loved, accepted, and transformed.
Commitment to growing in wholeness - In the ARC we are committed to helping Life Together Group facilitators grow in emotional, relational, and spiritual wholeness. This is a commitment we especially expect facilitators to make and to intentionally position themselves before the Lord to experience.
Intentional appointments becoming divine appointments - We believe that when we are intentional to gather together in the same place at the same time with one another and the Holy Spirit, God things can happen. We will make it a priority to meet with each other on a consistent basis and expect that our intentional appointments will at times become divine appointments as the Holy Spirit leads and guides us. When this happens we will allow God's agenda to bump ours aside to take advantage of the teachable moments He is presenting us with.
Building follower-leaders - ARC Life Together Groups will provide a context for God to continue His work of shaping and forming us first as followers of Jesus. We believe our calling as leaders will be most healthy and helpful when it flows out of living first and foremost as a Jesus-follower. These groups will provide a context for growing as both a follower of Jesus and a leader as we help one another understand the past working of God in our lives and ministries, respond to God's present dealing in our lives and ministries, and help us prepare for the future working of God.
Consistent, persistent prayer - We believe God works powerfully through prayer. Therefore, Life Together Group members will consistently pray for one another. We will pray for each other between and during meetings. We will contend in prayer for God's purposes to be realized in one another's lives. Jesus and Paul consistently prayed for their emerging leaders (Luke 22:32, Colossians 1:28-2:1, Galatians 4:19, 2 Timothy 1:3). Jesus and Paul consistently prayed with and over their emerging leaders (Luke 11:1, 1 Timothy 4:14, 2 Timothy 1:6).
Processing challenging assignments - Life Together Group members will help one another identify, process, and navigate challenging assignments. Challenging assignments in life and ministry can stretch and mature us as follower-leaders. A challenging assignment is one that is a little bit above our present perceived capacity, but not too far above lest we fail, become discouraged, and give up. Nor are the assignments below or equal to our present capacity. We will encourage and support one another as challenging assignments stretch us.
For more information on ARC Life Together Groups, contact ARC Director Mike Bradley