Life Groups

Build Meaningful Relationships & Community

You Were Designed to Live in Community

Life groups are the perfect place for you to build meaningful relationships and grow your faith in an intimate and supportive environment. You’ll find it helps you engage with God’s Word and grow in spiritual maturity through discipleship. You’ll also have the opportunity to serve alongside each other in ministry, and share the love of Christ both locally and abroad.

How Do Life Groups Meet?

In-Person Life Groups

In-Person groups gather face-to-face in homes, coffee shops, office buildings, parks and other local spots! Whether you’re looking for a Men’s, Women’s, Couples, Singles or Workplace group, there is one that is just right for you!

Online Life Groups

E-Life Groups allow you to have face-to-face communication with your small group, from any location in the world! All you need is a computer or mobile device to get started.

Common Questions

We want to help you find and join a Life Group

You’ve probably seen Life Groups meeting and not even realized it. A small group looks like friends at lunch, teams playing basketball, or people studying a book or topic of interest. At its core, a small group is a small gathering of people, and it is less about what you do and more about who you do it with. By participating in a Life Group, you can expect to connect with others through a common activity, engage in life giving conversation and request prayer.

1. Welcome
Person to person. A time to meet new people and interact. Snacks and refreshments are often served at this time.

2. Worship
Us to God. A time of singing, reading a passage from the Bible that praises God or taking time as a group to thank God for His help in the past week.

3. Word
God to us. This is NOT the Life Group leader teaching or preaching to the group. It is
a time where we read the Bible together and everyone shares their thoughts or asks questions. The Life Group leader facilitates this discussion time and keeps it on track and on time.

4. Work
God through us. This is a time where we share our prayer requests and pray for each other. It also a time of sharing the vision for up coming events, needs in the group and any changes to the group.

Benefits of Joining

There are many reasons for joining a life group. Here are a few ways we have seen people grow.

If you’ve ever listened to a Bible teacher or preacher and wanted to stop that person and say, “But what about…?” or “I don’t understand!” Then a small group is for you! Preaching and teaching is one-way communication. In a small group setting, you can ask questions, participate in a discussion of the text, and hear others share insights and illustrations of the truth you are trying to grasp. The Bible must be applied to your own personal situations and that happens best in small groups.

Most people who have been part of a group say the greatest benefit is the close relationships and friendships they develop. They will frequently check in with each other during the week to share an urgent prayer request or an exciting answer. You’ll discover that your needs and problems are not unique ~ we’re all in the same boat. It helps to know that others are facing the same difficulties, or have lived through them and learned spiritual principles in the process.

We really do need each other. God never meant for you to do it alone in the Christian life. If you’re lonely, the answer to your problem is to join a group.

Many people are hesitant to pray in front of others, especially in a large church. In a small group of 6 to 12, you will learn to participate in prayer by having a conversation together with God. No one is pressured to pray, but as you become comfortable, you’ll be able to pray sentence prayers and join in. There are many promises in the Bible related to group prayer. In praying together with a few others, we are drawn together and we find answers to the needs in our lives.

Small groups provide excellent support in times of crisis, change, and stress. You’ll have a sense of stability and security knowing there are people who really care for you and are committed to standing with you.

When someone loses a job, or a family member has an extended illness, or a mother needs a babysitter – these are practical needs that will be naturally taken care of through your small group. Your group will coordinate the sharing of hot meals to be brought in when a family is in need. Many people in our church could testify that they would not have made it through a difficult time if it hadn’t been for the support of their group. In addition, we have a number of special support groups that deal with problems like alcoholism, financial difficulty, abuse, and other needs.

It may be that some of your friends who don’t know the Lord wouldn’t be caught dead in a church. They have a preconceived idea and just the thought makes them defensive. But those same people may be open to an invitation to a casual Bible discussion in a home or office setting. In a small group, your non-christian friend can ask questions and express honest doubts without feeling “put on the spot”. When your friend sees the love and warmth and honesty of your group, it will make them more receptive to the Good News.

The Bible teaches that every believer is given certain talents or “gifts” to benefit others in the family of God. Unfortunately most Christians remain as Sunday morning spectators all their lives because large group meetings are primarily “sit and listen” situations. As you share and participate in a relaxed small group setting, you’ll discover your confidence and self-esteem rising. This will help you at work, at church, and in every other relationship.

Many people mistakenly believe that worship can only happen on Sunday morning in large group with a sermon and a band. Worship happens any time we focus on God. Sometimes, that happens best in a smaller group in praying or singing together. At Coastal, we are authorizing the Life Group leader of each group to serve the Lord’s Supper when they sense they need a communion service.

The book of Acts is very clear about how God intends for his people to grow and have their needs met in the church. We will never be able to hire enough professional pastors to meet all the individual needs in our family. God never intended for it to be that way!

Attending a Life Group

Things to know as you prepare to meet with your life group.

  1. If you are attending for the first time you may be asked to meet with the leader beforehand or at least let them know a little bit about yourself. This will help the leader get to know you better, before introducing you to the group during your first in-person or online meeting.

  2. For in-person groups, let your leader and/or host know that you will be attending so they can adequately be prepared. Generally in Canadian culture, shoes are removed at the door and similar to all other cultures, bringing a snack is always welcomed. For online groups, make sure your computer/tablet/phone is connected to the internet and ready to video conference using Zoom (or another video conference tool your leader has chosen).

  3. Come with a heart to contribute and learn.

  4. Be sensitive to the start and finish time. Online groups should last about 60 minutes and in-person groups about 90 minutes. 

  5. Avoid bringing controversial questions or issues into the group. The leaders are not pastors or counselors, they are volunteers who faithfully follow Christ and will pray for you. If you have a difficult question or situation, share it with the leader and they can have a ministerial staff get in touch with you.

  6. There is never any room for foul language, the use of alcohol or drugs, sexual or abusive language.

  7. Remember, building relationships takes time. Yet, not every group is a fit and you can contact the church office for help finding another group.

  8. Life Groups are places of trust where members are able to share their needs and challenges as well as victories with others that know and care for them.

  9. Pray for your life group leader and the host.