GOALS OF YOUR FIRST MEETING:
- Meet new members and rekindle relationships
- Clarify the group’s direction/expectation/commitments using the Member Covenant
- Discuss the “Life Measures” together, as well as related Scripture passages
- Discuss the group’s participation in “30 for 30” by serving together
- Pray for the upcoming semester
MATERIALS YOU NEED:
- Nametags (if you want to go the extra mile, fill these out beforehand!)
- Grow Group Covenants (one to sign, one to keep)
- “Life Measures” Cards
On-campus groups, your nametags, covenants, and measures cards will be on the cabinet in your room. Off-campus groups, yours will be available for pickup on the church office front desk Sunday morning. You can also review the covenant HERE.
THREE MAIN PARTS OF YOUR FIRST MEETING:
#1 – Welcome, mingle and talk while you eat
- Make sure to greet everyone at the door
- Help them find a nametag, offer them refreshments
- Smile and bring the energy!
- Feel free to spend a good 15 minutes or so on this the first week
#2 – Group Discussion
This week’s discussion will have three parts:
- Meeting new members and catching up – The first part of your group discussion should be dedicated toward getting to know each other. For groups with new members (half of our groups!) make sure you spend time introducing not only your new members, but all members. For groups with no new members, you might want to use this time to talk about highs/lows from the holiday season (be sensitive to the fact that the holidays may have been very tough for some of your members)
- “Dig, Build, Train Discussion” – This is the part of the meeting spent discussing the weekly material. Most weeks, this will relate to the previous week’s sermon. For this session, we’ll be discussing the Life Measures. CLICK HERE for the Leader’s version of the Grow Group Prep Questions. It has lots of additional info that will help you facilitate the discussion
- Discuss the Covenant – This is an important time that helps clarify the direction and expectations of the group. Here are a few thoughts:
- The way you communicate this makes a huge difference in how it is received!
- Emphasize the way that agreeing to this covenant benefits the group and each member (i.e., this isn’t the church bringing down the hammer, it’s the group members committing to make the group work well for each other)
- Highlight the importance of the commitments to attend, prepare, and participate. Especially mention the preparation…we’d like to step up the expectation for preparation this semester. If each person spends a few minutes during the week thinking about the material, the discussions can be much deeper and more meaningful. You might encourage members to use the material as a daily devotional resource.
- Mention the Serve Project and the social. Give special attention to the fact that in honor of VRBC’s 30th anniversary this Spring, we are doing something called “30 for 30: Thirty serving opportunities to celebrate thirty years.” Your group will be responsible for one of the 30 projects.
- Have your group members sign the covenant. If they aren’t comfortable yet, they are welcome to wait until the third meeting to sign.
#3 – Prayer
Your group will spend time in prayer each week. Depending on the group size and history, this can take on lots of different forms. For this first week when you may be pressed for time, you may just want to have a leader voice a prayer for the group. In future weeks, be creative with what this looks like.
A note about time: Please make sure to start on time and end on time. This is especially important for Sunday morning groups since your time is more limited. Most weeks, a good rule of thumb is to mingle from 9:00-9:10, begin your discussion at 9:10, and dismiss by 10:15 so people can get to worship. One thing to remember is that every group actually has two “ending times”, and that’s ok! The first ending time is the official end of the meeting – when the last amen is said or the group is dismissed. But…the second ending time is when people actually leave, which might be quite a bit later. Don’t discount the importance of the conversations between the “official” ending time and the “actual” ending time! God can do some great work in this time.