Help in a BIG Way

After a 10-year career in the insurance industry, Doug Cowart felt called into full-time ministry. As a pastor at Life.Church Moore, he helps people connect within small groups and build friendships that spur them on in their relationship with God.

“We were all designed to live in community. Even Jesus had a close group of friends to walk alongside,” said Cowart. “I believe we become more like the people we surround ourselves with. That’s why I’m passionate and intentional about helping people engage in LifeGroups.”

Life.Church believes in the power of the small-group setting and encourages every attender to join one. Within these groups, people feel connected, find hope and experience growth.

“LifeGroups are the friends you laugh, grow and serve with,” Cowart said. “They’re the people who allow you to take off the mask and be real. They celebrate with you and share your burdens. Life is messy—that’s why we shouldn’t do it alone!”

Cowart doesn’t just encourage others to join in a LifeGroup—he also attends one weekly. Through his LifeGroup, he’s experienced firsthand the support and generosity of people who are committed to growing in relationship together. They not only make a difference in each other’s lives, but they also help those around them.

“A while back, my LifeGroup found out that the young woman who babysits our kids while we meet had been sleeping on the floor because she couldn’t afford a bed. Without hesitation, we pitched in to buy her a bed,” said Cowart. “It brought her to tears to know that even though she doesn’t actively participate in the adult portion of our group, she is one of us and we love her like family.”

Jon Mays, a fellow pastor at the Life.Church South Oklahoma City location, has seen marriages restored, sobriety achieved and depression overcome because of the emotional and spiritual support people receive through their LifeGroups.

“When I think about how LifeGroups support each other, I think of David, who’d struggled with depression for as long as he could remember. Desperate to find help, he joined a LifeGroup, where he was welcomed and encouraged by the Scripture he heard,” said Mays. “One month later, there was a noticeable difference in him because he had finally found a place to belong. David has been in that group for nearly a year and no longer wears the label of depression.”

For Ryan Westrup, a pastor at Life.Church Norman, a LifeGroup is a group of people that serves together to make a difference in the community. His LifeGroup regularly volunteers with the church’s local mission partners. They’ve spent time with children affected by autism, done yard work for disabled neighbors, played games with underprivileged families on Thanksgiving, and more.

“When LifeGroups serve together, our initial hope is that we’re helping to meet a need and providing people with relief. As we begin to invest in others and build genuine relationships with our neighbors, that’s when we see true restoration happen in our communities,” said Westrup. “Knowing and sharing the idea that we don’t have to walk through life alone makes a big difference.”

Misty Scott attends Life.Church Moore and has led a LifeGroup with husband Daniel for four years. Though it started out as a way to give back, she now thinks of their LifeGroup as extended family.

“I set out to make an impact in the lives of others, and in turn, they’ve impacted me. My faith is stronger because of them,” said Scott. “We do everything together, and we’re there for each other when no one else is. They’re family—even closer than blood.”