Following Jesus is a journey that no one should make alone—that’s why we have life groups! Life groups meet regularly in various homes, coffee shops, and on our church campuses to read and discuss the Bible, grow, serve, and pray together.
As a next step towards being able to gather back together, we encourage you to consider joining with another family or friend from Cornerstone, or your life group, to watch the Sunday service online together. We are thinking of these as Acts 2-style “house churches.”
As we enter into a season of restrictions being lifted, but with the virus still in our midst, we're suggesting a few “best practices” guidelines. We're doing this to reduce the chances of spread of the disease out of love, in order to protect those in our church family who are vulnerable.
As a next step towards being able to gather back together as a church, we encourage you to consider joining with another family or friend from Cornerstone, or your life group, to watch the Sunday service online together. We're thinking of these as Acts 2-style “house churches."
As we enter into a season of restrictions being lifted but with the virus still in our midst, we're suggesting a few “best practices” guidelines for these types of “house church” gatherings.
We know that none of this is ideal, and we pray for the time when everyone can gather without concern about the virus — but in the meantime, we want to heed the recommendations for reducing the spread of the disease out of love, in order to protect those in our church family who are vulnerable.
First, The Tough Stuff!
One of Cornerstone’s values is being relational. A big part of being relational is hospitality — the gift of making someone feel comfortable and at home.
There may be disagreements in your house church regarding what individuals feel is safe and what is not. Even if -- and especially if-- you or others in the group personally disagree with someone’s caution, we would ask that you try to make things as hospitable as possible by making your meeting plans around the person who is feeling most cautious.
Here we use Philippians 2:3-4 as our guide: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” In a time when everyone may have a strong/different opinion, we want to practice loving one another in sacrificial ways.
Next, The Practical Stuff!
Here are some guidelines for you to consider. Before you gather, we encourage you to discuss the following with everyone:
- Illness – It hopefully goes without saying, but people should stay home if they or anyone in their household is sick, or if they have been exposed to someone who is sick.
- Location – Select a gathering place where you can safely distance, and where there is an easily accessible bathroom that can be disinfected. Meeting outside is highly encouraged if it’s possible.
- Masks – We're asking you to consider wearing masks, especially in the time people are arriving and socializing. Once everyone is safely distanced, masks may be removed at the discretion of the leader and participants.
- Food – We are big proponents of food at group gatherings, but during this season, we're recommending that groups not eat together. If you do choose to eat, encourage members to bring their own beverage and snack.
- Greetings – As much as some will miss hugging or shaking hands with others, for now it is still wise to avoid physical contact.
- Cleaning – The host should be prepared to clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched both before and after group (Door handles, chairs, restrooms, etc.).
- Childcare – If there are children present at your gathering, please have a conversation about how you will keep them safe.
- High Risk Individuals – Those who are 65+ or who have serious underlying health conditions are strongly encouraged to stay home for now. We highly value your lives and do not want you to take unnecessary risks!
Finally, there’s a Message Discussion Guide available here on the Groups page for each week’s message. If you wish to make your “house church” gathering your life group meeting as well, we strongly encourage you to use this resource!
Whether in a life group or looking to grow closer in relationship with God and others, we encourage you to join us for a 4-week study called "The Creative Way Down." This is a free, totally online resource designed to help us all be more intentional about following Jesus in the midst of these uncertain times. We suggest finding at least one other person to join you for this challenging and exciting study!
Be Part of a Life Group
Group Finder helps you do exactly that! It shows you all the Cornerstone groups out there, and walks you through how to connect with one. If you'd rather have someone help you, Group Finder can do that, too!
It's Not Difficult to be a Life Group Leader!
You don’t have to be a Bible expert or a teacher to lead a life group! Life group leaders are just regular people with a heart for community who are willing to help facilitate a group.
Take two minutes and watch the video and you'll see it's not difficult to be a life group leader. We’ll help you get started! To learn more, email Jenn Strobl, our Groups Coordinator.
Stay up to Date
For current updates and news about what is coming up, please follow our Life Groups Facebook page.
Life Group Leader Resources
Resources designed to help your life group succeed and be as fulfilling as it can be.