Check out our list of Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about LifeGroups and Starting Point groups at Forest Hill Church.
LifeGroups are groups at Forest Hill Church where faith in Christ is lived out through relationships.
More specifically, LifeGroups provide a place to …
We offer Men’s, Women’s, and Couples groups at all of our campuses. At some campuses we also offer Mixed/Co-Ed groups, which are compiled of both men and women and can include both married and single members.
Men’s and Women’s groups typically have 8 – 12 members.
Couples groups usually include 6- 8 couples.
Mixed/Co-Ed groups typically have 12 – 16 members.
The frequency of meeting is determined by the LifeGroup leader. Groups meet weekly, every other week, twice a month or three times per month. Some groups meet year round and others operate on a more seasonal/semester basis.
LifeGroups meet throughout our region in homes, on our campuses, or in the community in coffee shops and restaurants. Group leaders establish the meeting location based on preference. Campus availability varies by location.
We work with our LifeGroups to determine creative ways for groups to handle childcare needs. Some groups hire a sitter (or two) to care for the children as a group during LifeGroup meetings. Some couples groups have individual meeting times for the men and women in order to allow the other spouse to stay home with the children and then they gather as families for serve and social events. If childcare will be a need for your group, our LifeGroup Directors can work with you to brainstorm solutions.
After using the Getting Started curriculum, which helps groups understand what a LifeGroup is and how one works, we encourage groups to use Pursuing Christ, which helps people understand how a relationship with Christ reshapes their lives. After those studies, the LifeGroup leader selects future studies and LifeGroup Directors are available to give guidance on choosing a great study for the group. This website also features a Recommended Studies page to help leaders search through lots of great options for their groups. A couple of times a year there may be a church-wide study based on a sermon series. LifeGroup Directors will advise leaders when these church-wide studies are coming.
Group growth happens primarily through two methods:
LifeGroup leaders create an environment where spiritual growth happens, relationships are formed, and group members can care for one another and serve together. We ask leaders to create the environment and we pray for God to change lives through the environment and relationships formed.
Very practically, we ask LifeGroup leaders to lead a group that varies in size, type, and schedule based on leader preferences. Leading a group means organizing and facilitating the group meetings and events and caring for the people in the group.
We expect LifeGroup leaders to encourage group members in their spiritual growth.
LifeGroup leaders are required to be members of Forest Hill Church. We value our leaders as people who share our mission to glorify God by making disciples who Know Christ, Grow in Christ, and Go for Christ. We seek leaders who are striving to live lives that honor God and we know that God uses leadership as a means to draw our leaders closer to Himself.
LifeGroup Directors are on staff at each of our campuses and their primary responsibility is to recruit, train, develop and support LifeGroup Leaders. LifeGroup Directors meet regularly with all LifeGroup leaders to provide support and encouragement. We also offer ongoing opportunities through campus-specific and church-wide training events, community gatherings, and Leader U development opportunities.
As part of the group structure we also encourage people within the group to support the leader with various tasks and events.
We encourage anyone interested in LifeGroup Leadership to prayerfully consider the role of leadership and to complete the Leadership Interest form on this website. A staff member will follow up with each person who expresses interest. One of our LifeGroup Directors will ask for a meeting to further discuss the role and next steps. All LifeGroup leaders are asked to participate in New Leader Training as a part of launching a new group.
Starting Point groups are short-term groups for people who are curious about Christianity, new to a relationship with God, or coming back to the church after some time away. These 8-week groups provide a safe place for people to explore faith and experience what it’s like to be a part of Christian community.
Starting Point groups meet once per week for 8 weeks. The meetings last for about 90 minutes. They include up to 2 leaders and up to 2 co-leaders/apprentices. There include no more than 12 group participants who self-identify as someone who is curious about faith, new to Christianity, or returning to church.
Starting Point groups typically meet on one of our church campuses because that’s where group members usually feel most comfortable.
Starting Point leaders create an environment where people can explore their questions about faith and experience a Christian community. The Starting Point leader’s main role is not to teach or answer a bunch of questions, but to build relationships and ask good questions. We use the Starting Point study by Andy Stanley, which helps people hear and understand the Gospel message, and prepares leaders to help people process their beliefs about who Jesus is and what He means to them.
Starting Point group leaders are required to be members of Forest Hill Church and have been in a growing relationship with Christ for at least 5 years. There are 4 different characteristics to describe Starting Point leaders: (1) humble, (2) teachable, (3) curious, and (4) intentional. These leaders are humble, meaning that they know that they are sinners and in need of a Savior, but also know that they don't have all the answers to every question. These leaders are teachable, constantly inviting and welcoming feedback and desiring to learn more about themselves and others. These leaders are curious, having a genuine concern and interest in others, prioritizing knowing others over being known. Finally, these leaders are intentional, viewing each interaction with people as an opportunity to help others know Christ better and build relationships, and be prepared to facilitate conversations with group members and co-leaders.
Directors are on staff at each of our campuses and they are responsible for recruiting, training, developing and supporting group leaders. Directors meet regularly with all leaders to provide support and encouragement. Starting Point group leaders also participate in an apprenticeship with a seasoned Starting Point leader prior to leading a group on their own.
We encourage anyone interested in Starting Point group leadership to prayerfully consider the role of leadership and to complete the Leadership Interest form on this website. A staff member will follow up with each person who expresses interest. One of our Directors will ask for a meeting to further discuss the role and next steps. Starting Point group leaders are asked to complete the Starting Point leader training and are also expected to participate in an apprenticeship with an experienced Starting Point leader.