Below are some of the frequently asked questions about life groups.
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to unfold, we as a church want to do our part to care for your wellbeing. Health and government officials recommend that group gatherings be kept to a minimum with face masks and social distancing as a way to prevent any spread of this potentially harmful virus. Another important option is to meet online. In an effort to keep you safely connected, some of our groups and classes have added an online option.
We have moved to an online platform using Zoom. When you sign up for a group or class, you may have the option to meet online. If you choose online, your leader will email details for your meeting with a link and login information. With registration, you will receive a confirmation email. That’s the email address we will use to send you online meeting information. For more information on using Zoom, check out the “Using Zoom” section.
Finally, as we continue to face this health challenge, we will keep you posted here with upcoming changes. We hope that ultimately, most of our groups will return to meeting in person. Some groups however have been online groups by design and will remain online. We have seen some advantages to meeting online. So, we hope to expand our offering of online groups as we go forward. As you explore the various groups available, the Location section will either list a physical location or say they are meeting online. If a physical location is listed, there may also be an online option. That information will be listed in the group or class description. For the latest updates on our reopening plan, go to baylife.org/open.
We encourage all groups to stay in touch with one another and ask if members of your group or their neighbors need help. Perhaps someone could use a few groceries and shouldn’t be exposed to the general public or can’t shop during the restricted store hours. If your group finds ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our community, we would love to hear about it. Email Shane Clark, Life Group Pastor,
Zoom is free. It allows groups of people to connect over the internet using the microphone and camera on your device. You can connect using your computer, laptop, tablet, or phone. You will need internet access, a camera and a microphone (built into most phones, tablets, laptops and some newer computers).
From your computer or laptop, simply click on the Zoom link. Zoom will launch in your default Internet browser (Explorer, Edge, Chrome, Safari, etc.) Or, you can go to Zoom.us, select “Join Meeting” and continue from there. Follow the instructions on the screen. You will be prompted to enter a meeting ID and password. You will find that information in the meeting invitation message.
For a phone or tablet, you will need to download the "ZOOM Cloud Meetings" app and then you will be able to click on the link to launch Zoom. You will be prompted to enter a meeting ID and password. You will find that information in the meeting message.
Please log in 10 minutes early to make sure everything is working properly. This will also help minimize interruptions once the group has started. It’s also a great way to have a little social time.
You can ‘mute’ yourself or the leader can mute individuals. Background noise causes Zoom to ‘ping pong’ around the various attendees because it can’t determine which ‘speaker’ to focus on. This causes the person who is speaking to ‘cut out’ or have interrupted speech that is difficult to understand. If you are not actively speaking, please use “Mute”.
We encourage you to participate in online activities and stay connected as best you can. If you need assistance connecting, please contact your leader or
What is a Life Group?
A life group is a group of 8-16 people that meet on regular basis, typically weekly, to study the Bible, pray for one another, and fellowship together. Outside of the weekly meeting times, groups “do life together,” meaning they do social events, mission/service projects, and other life events together. They become your small church within the big church!
When and where do they meet?
We have groups that meet throughout the week from Sunday through Thursday. Most of our groups meet in the evenings, but some meet at other times during the day. Most of our groups meet in a home, but some meet on campus and/or online. Groups that meet both in person and online, we call "hybrid".
How long do they last?
Our life groups are on-going and do not have an official “start” or “stop” date. However, we do host two Group Links, in January and August, to give people an opportunity to meet the Life Group Leaders and join their group. People are welcome to join any time throughout the year. Any group or class listed on our web page is open to new people joining at that time.
What is the required commitment?
Joining a Life Group requires a commitment to attend weekly meetings and to do homework ahead of time. Obviously, allowances are made for sickness, vacations, work conflicts and other special events, but it is important to be committed to the group and to God. This commitment is the key to a strong Life Group. This is why we ask all Life Groups to discuss and sign a Life Group Covenant when they begin or have new members join.
What will we study?
There are three categories of studies that our Life Groups choose from: Sermon-based Study, Topical Study (i.e. Marriage, parent teenagers, etc.), and books of the Bible. This information can be found for each group in JOIN A GROUP
What does it cost?
Cost will vary depending on the what the group is studying. Sermon-based groups will typically have no cost. Groups that do topical studies or books of the Bible may have a small cost to cover any materials (books, DVDs, etc.) needed for the study.
What about child care?
Childcare is handled by each group differently. Some groups utilize the childcare provided by the church on campus during certain days of the week. Other groups utilize babysitters or coop type of arrangements in their homes. Childcare provided by Bay Life Church does come with a small cost, typically not exceeding $10 per family. Information is available for each group in JOIN A GROUP.
How do I choose a group?
Simply click on JOIN A GROUP and browse through the many options we have. You can browse based on type of group, day of the week they meet, childcare, or by zip code.
How do I sign up for a Life Group?
Once you have selected a group of interest, click on the leader’s email link and let them know you are interested in their group. They will reply with an introduction to their group and next steps to join them. You may also contact the Life Groups Ministry at 813.661.3696 ext.244 or
Are there groups for college students?
Yes, please visit the College and Career page for more information about these groups. COLLEGE and CAREER
Are there groups for High School students?
Yes, please visit the High School Ministry page for more information about these groups. HIGH SCHOOL MINISTRY