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A Step Forward for Life Groups

We have a healthy Life Group program at UPC. Over 60% of our congregation are in Life Groups, and that number is growing. But one thing we’ve struggled with is finding a way to connect people with the larger church, especially the elders and deacons. Suppose someone in a Life Group is struggling and needs more than what his or her Life Group can provide. To whom can he or she turn?

We now have an answer to that question. The elders and deacons have adopted a plan called Flocks. A Flock consists of several Life Groups, a coach, a deacon, an elder, and a pastor. Each of these leaders has a role to play in his Flock. The coach’s role is to encourage and support his Life Group leaders. The deacon’s job is to step in when someone in a Life Group needs help of a physical or material nature. The elder’s job is to know the “sheep” in his Flock and help meet their spiritual needs. And the pastor’s role is to oversee his Flock and give pastoral care when needed. So picture in your mind every Life Group member surrounded by people committed to helping him or her be transformed by the gospel: a small group, a leader, a coach, a deacon, an elder, and a pastor. That’s a Flock!

Recently in one of our Life Groups two different people lost their jobs. On top of being laid off, one of those two people also experienced vandalism, identity theft, and sickness in the family. When I heard about these situations, I alerted the Life Group leader’s coach and he immediately arranged to meet that leader for lunch. Both the elder and pastor of that Flock called the people involved, encouraged them, and prayed with them. The deacon stood ready to take their financial needs to the Diaconate. Later I spoke to one of the people who had experienced upheaval. He was grateful for the love he and his wife had received from their church leaders. That’s how a Flock works!

If you’re in a Life Group, ask your Life Group leader to tell you about your Flock. Here is a chart showing all eight of our current Flocks. You should know the names of your deacon, elder, and pastor. And if you’re not in a Life Group, I can help you get into one. Write me at mosborne@upc-orlando.com. Or visit our church website (http://upc-orlando.com/life-groups) where you can click on a "Life Group Finder." Or visit the Life Group kiosk in the Worship Center and sign up for a Life Group. We want everyone at UPC to experience small group community and the shepherding care of our church leaders.

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