"A biblical community for the spiritually curious."
A GROWING COMMUNITY
And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
A MANNA! Life Group is a biblical “ekklesia” that grows: numerically and spiritually.
The early church “added daily to their number (Acts 2:47).” In other words, they exploded in converts. This wasn't the slow, modest growth that many churches enjoy today. Rather, this was a growth that caught the attention of the Jewish authorities. The early church grew so quickly that they were viewed as a threat.
Similarly, MANNA! Life Groups are wired for spiritual and numerical growth.
Our inclusivity and "open door" policy, blended with special "sticky" practices (to foster Christian community) and engaging biblical study (to deepen Christian faith), often means that people don’t just come...they tend to stay. And if they stay, it means the group will grow.
Our group growth philosophy can be summarized in this chart and "The Rule of Three's":
The Rule of Three's outlines the relational process and how groups must intentionally meet specific needs of the visitor, guest, member and core leader. If the right need isn't met at the right time, then "stickiness" fails and the person begins to disconnect.
All MANNA! Life Group leaders, facilitators and hosts are uniquely trained in the "Rule of Threes." This is our secret sauce and special recipe. You have to experience this "stickiness" before you can reproduce it.
From the beginning MANNA! Life Groups have operated with a growth perspective. We believe in growing attention and affection. We believe in growing depth of faith. We believe in growing a group numerically. If a group is spiritually and relationally healthy, it will grow. Consequently, we have a successful, working strategy for "peeling off" new groups. This method is also unique to our Life Group philosophy and practically guarantees a strong new group will result. After all, a group can grow only so large in a home and once it reaches 90% of capacity, a new group is immediately needed to continue the growth. It's why we view numerical growth through a strategic mindset. We know that the window to birth a new group is not open indefinitely and if missed the group will stagnate and begin to decline.
We rejoice with every new face and welcome every new story.
Our growth allows every person to have a place and space to be discipled.
The original dream for MANNA! Life Groups started with one group committed to biblical discipleship and spiritual growth. This original small company of believers imagined on that first evening how a full house might look. They dreamed of a home filled with deep friendships, rich conversations and committed community. They also envisioned MANNA! Life Groups across the Treasure Valley of southwestern Idaho, the Great Northwest, the United States and around the globe.
With MANNA! Life Groups our vision can spread farther and wider because our groups are part of a parachurch organization. We are a faith-based Christian education ministry dedicated to serving all churches. We have no ties, restrictions or boundaries to any particular church or denomination.
MANNA! Life Groups, like the early church, is open to all people who desire personal transformation through Jesus Christ.
The Board of Directors for MANNA! Educational Services International do not set any restrictive guidelines on MANNA! Life Groups except that they adhere to an Acts 2:42 format (all gatherings must include biblical study, prayer huddles, fellowship and participation in the Lord’s Supper), remain open (inclusive and inviting) and submit to the general MANNA! Statement of Belief.
Should any issue, problem or controversy arise within a specific Life Group, it will be dealt with from the lowest necessary authority (leader/shepherd/facilitator, community leader or area director). Very rarely will local issues or specific house gathering problems rise higher than the area director. The goal is to keep all decisions and low-level as possible.
In general, unless it's a matter that involves heresy (false doctrine) or immorality (biblical sin), then MANNA! Life Groups are autonomous in nature, submitting only to Christ Jesus and the norms of their community, area, region or zone.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.