St. John Neumann Life Groups Ministry

Missionary discipleship involves helping the baptized realize that they are called to a life of mission, not maintenance. St. John Neumann Parish (SJN) offers various programs that center on bringing the faithful closer to Christ and then sharing this encounter with others. Applying the same philosophy as a missionary disciple, the parish spearheads a new Life Groups Ministry that helps the faithful transform relationships through connection, study, prayer, and service.  

Kate Giddens, Life Group Director at SJN, has worked extensively with Jim Beckman from the Augustine Institute to help define the vision and scope of implementing Life Group Mentor training.  “Although we were a parish that had life groups, changing to a parish of Life Groups means a shift in culture from consumerism to discipleship, where parishioners take ownership of their walk with Christ.” 

The Catholic Foundation granted St. John Neumann a responsive grant to help with the initial implementation of Life Group Ministry.  The goal is to have all adult parishioners connected to the parish by participating in a life group.  In September 2022, SJN had approximately twenty Life Groups. After utilizing The Rescue Project as an onramp to evangelization, the parish launched twenty-five more life groups in early 2023.  At the end of the year, they had over five hundred individuals participating in sixty-two life groups.

Giddens points out that each life group is in a different spot and says, “It’s important to meet people where they are in their faith journey.”   The important part is that no participant is just going through the motions. They’re connected to their faith in ways they never knew possible, and this is the meaning behind this way of living: In taking ownership of your discipleship, you desire to help others do the same.

Child being handed a book from a woman in a classroom setting.
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“Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 
2 Corinthians 9: 6-7