A Life Group is a group of adults who have decided to journey together into deeper forms of discipleship both for personal transformation and for service towards others. The typical weekly group meeting gathers in a person's home or comfortable setting outside of the church building. McKnight's Life Groups use a variety of formats, such as book studies, thematic guided discussions, and scripture-based focused conversations. The gathering opens with plenty of conversation and time for fellowship, followed by a time of prayer, including uplifting of joys and concerns prayed over by the group. Following the prayertime, the "study" component happens; the topic and theme guided by the particular materials that group works with, be it scripture or a book. In the case of a scripture format, the scripture passage for the meeting usually corresponds to the previous Sunday's scripture passage used as the basis for the message. Each group is encouraged to participate in service projects for the community or meeting felt needs of the world around us. Past projects have included coat collections, participating in feeding programs, providing "caring baskets" for others, and cleaning for others.
Some life groups form for specific life situations, such as singles groups, grief groups, or parenting groups. However the goal for each group is the ongoing support and transformation of the individuals involved. New groups may form throughout the year as leaders emerge with a desire to begin a new group. Each group is open and welcomes new individuals at any time.
Typical questions concerning Life Groups may be as follows:
Q: Will I feel awkward joining a group that has been meeting for awhile?
A: There is no need to feel awkward getting involved with any activity at McKnight UMC, and Life Groups are no different. Each group enthusiastically welcomes new participants. People often find that within a short amount of time (sometimes within the first gathering) the group feels warm, supportive, and like life-long friends. Attending for the first time is the hardest part. We feel confident that if you attend once, you will want to keep coming back.
Q: Do I need to bring anything with me?
A: No, you do not need to bring anything with you. If you have a Bible that you would like to bring, you may, but you never have to bring anything with you to a Life Group meeting. Food and refreshments are often served, but the leader, host, or group takes care of that. After you have been attending for awhile, if you want to volunteer to help with something, that may be appreciated. But there is never any obligation on any individual to bring something to a group.
Q: What should I do with my children?
A: Some Life Groups are geared towards parents and offer babysitting. Try plugging into one of them first. If none of those groups work for you, talk to someone to see if another group may be starting soon that will provide child care. We don't want you to have to worry about finding someone to care for your children. So please, don't let that be something that deters you from trying out a life group.
Q: If I attend one meeting, does that mean I am committed to going every week?
A: No. Some people don't connect with a certain group of individuals, and some people don't like the format or concept of a particular Life Group after trying it. And all of us take vacations or have weeks where we simply can't participate due to other circumstances; this is only a natural part of life. However, we believe (and have seen from past experiences) that those who do come one time find quick connections with the individuals involved and find meaningful interaction with the scriptures to be an important part of their week. Going once does not commit you to attending every week, but we do believe that attending the right Life Group one time will convince you to attend regularly.
Sunday evening | BOVA LIFE GROUP
Led by Joan Bova, this life group meets at home of Sue & Bob Thomas in McKnight Village on Sunday evenings at 6:00pm.
This life group enjoys warm fellowship and consists primarily of parents of grown children. Having become known as the "warm and fuzzies" group, this group expresses that they feel their mission is to care for others in the community in any way that they can. Parking is available on the street. For more information, please contact the church at 412-364-7132.
Meeting Location: 209 Park Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15237
TUESDAY AFTERNOON | LUDWIG LIFE GROUP
Led by Linda Ludwig, this Life Group meets Tuesday afternoons at 2:00pm at the Lindquists' home in the McKnight Village neighborhood.
This group consists primarily of individuals with grown children, and focuses intently on the scripture passage as they seek to study and discern what it means for our lives today. Parking is available on the street. If you would like more information in this group, please contact Linda at 412-310-1345.
Meeting location: 170 Baker Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Thursday Evening | young professionals LIFE GROUP
Coordinated by Sarah Gallups, this group that meets every Thursday night at 7:00 pm around the North Hills. The location changes week to week.
This life group consists primarily of young professionals and parents of young children. This group follows the FLOW Model: Fellowship, Lesson, Outreach, Worship. Each week, members take turns leading and develop curriculum suited to that week's theme. Each meeting usually involves dinner. Childcare is available with advance notice. For more information or to be included in correspondence about the meeting schedule, please contact Alex Chapin at 804-824-4640.