As LifeGroup leaders and members, what do you do when there are a few in your group who are not committed to being a Jesus-Centered Family on Mission? There are usually 3 fairly distinct levels of commitment from participants of a group. Keep in mind that the level of commitment by any member of your group can change at any moment. It would be wise not to place a permanent label on any group participant.
There are usually 3 fairly distinct levels of commitment from participants of a group:
In most groups, some people will want to actively share life and be on mission with the group. They'll participate in all the rhythms of your community because they are willing to sacrifice and make time for the others. They are devoted, are a blessing to the whole group, and make their group leaders life more enjoyable.
Some are only casually committed and will mainly only show up at the designated weekly meeting time without actually “doing life“ with the members of the group. They simply are not willing to make the lifestyle changes that are necessary to participate actively in community throughout the week. They don’t see the privilege of being in an intimate community that is making disciples together as being worthy of the necessary sacrifices. They will often give you a wide range of reasons and excuses explaining why they aren’t available for anything more than attendance at the weekly meeting.
Sadly, some will rarely ever show up for the designated weekly meeting. They simply do not think the prize is worth the sacrifice. They might offer up an excuse buffet for their lack of participation, or simply run away and ignore phone calls, texts, and emails altogether.
Jesus spent most of his time with his most devoted followers.
As a group leader/member, it is wise to invest your time and energy in building relationships with the people who want to build. The amount of time you invest in people should be directly correlated to their commitment level. Invite everyone to everything, but give more time to the people who want to actually be community on mission. This will allow you to establish a culture of gospel community amongst the people who are actually willing to work towards it. The worst thing you can do is to devote most of your time to the least committed people. This will cause the committed members to suffer because the group can’t get going as a truly biblical community that is on mission to make disciples. As always, Jesus is a good example here. He spent most of his time with his most committed followers, the 12. He frequently invited others to spend time with him and would teach them, but Jesus always set the standard of commitment high. He didn’t allow the less committed to distract the whole group. Instead, he called the less committed to repent and follow him as a fully devoted follower.
Jesus always set a high standard of commitment.
So, as a group leader or member, get going with the people who are interested. Build with the folks who want to build. Even if you only have 2 or 3 people/couples who truly want to establish a Jesus-centered family that is on mission, that’s enough to get started. Don’t wait for the others to change, just get going with the ones who already want it. And along the way, be consistent in encouraging the less committed folks to hop in with you. The hope is that the Holy Spirit inspires those who have been more resistant, and over time they begin to join in because they are seeing gospel community play out in front of their eyes. Pray that they will quickly become more committed as The Spirit does work in their hearts. This will also be much more encouraging for you because instead of the majority of your energy and focus going towards people who are resistant to your leadership, you will be investing where you are likely to see the most fruit.