There are basic principles we all live by.  When I was growing up our family had basic principles that it behooved you to follow.  You never came to the dinner table without a shirt on, don’t care how hot it was.  You always offered visitors something to drink.  One shouldn’t mow their grass on Sunday, that is the day of/to rest.  Always say thank you! Never put your shoes on the kitchen counter, even when you are cleaning or shining them.  Don’t talk back to your mother (took a few years to really understand this one). Everyone should be seen as good people, some just haven’t arrived yet. And in our family, conflicts or issues would arise when someone tried to live outside these principles.

I have come to view SG world in much the same fashion as a family and with basic principles by which to live.  About 80% of our issues, problems or conflicts in SG come from Leaders or Members never discussing or living by basic principles.  This principles are spelled out in most covenants and we know after a few months if the group has discussed these principles or covenant. (We are now calling the ‘covenant’ an ‘agreement upon expectations’.)

Here are a few of the principles we stress at LifePoint: (some of them original to LP, others borrowed from Saddleback, Willow Creek or North Point).  You can find more information about each of them at

  1. Discipleship, Community, and Service are our three objectives for every Small Group. Check your group life often to see if they are being lived out.
  2. Apprenticing through the process of  Crawl, Walk then Run should be on your mind always. Every Leader is expected to enlist an apprentice and help them learn to lead by giving them a sentence, section or study they lead.
  3. Sharing the load of SG is a MUST! It gives belonging to a person and gives you energy to live on in SG. Discover every group members passion/interest/hobby and let them own a part of the group.
  4. Quarterly I2I Parties are expected so that you can influence others as you have been influenced.  Plan a party/social once every three months so you can invite your neighbors or friends.
  5. Curriculum Guide, we help you choose your group’s next study by giving you a list of LifePoint approved resources, many based on LP’s five expectations.
  6. Accountability: let others walk in your life as you walk in theirs. Be transparent and others will be also.  Speak into their lives as you allow them to speak into yours.
  7. Covenant, agree upon expectations early in the group’s life or there will be problems ahead as you do life as a family together. Below is a covenant (list of expectations as a sample)
It is important that your group agree on a list of expectations. Setting these guidelines is the first step toward real Christian community. We will meet on _______ at ___ o’clock for 6 weeks. Childcare will be provided by ____________Food will be _____________
We agree to…
  • make our meetings a priority
  • have Bible study at least 2 times per month
  • pray for the lost
  • worship personally in quiet time and corporately
  • develop future leaders
  • allow everyone to participate in discussion
  • challenge each other on our path to growing to be like Christ
  • host monthly socials and quarterly I2I events
  • allow group members to hold us accountable to the commitments we make
  • share the work load of small group
  • call on each other at any time
  • respect each other’s opinions
  • keep discussions confidential unless permission is granted
  • encourage members to serve each other as needed
  • serve God through on-campus opportunities of LifePoint Church
  • serve the world by praying for, encouraging people to go, and/or support participants of mission experiences,
  • serve the community by identifying a project, whether monthly or annually or on-going, that our group will adopt.

Head to for more information.