Group Expectations

Purpose and Vision

Our focus as a ministry is to live out our church's mission and vision in our gatherings ;

• By encouraging disciples to abide in Christ and to grow in spiritual maturity.
• By encouraging a culture where each participant is committed to helping others live for
  Jesus in all of life, and incarnating the love of God to others.
• By equipping disciples with essential skills of disciple-making.

Matthew 28:19–20 - [19] Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

The Bible

We affirm the Bible as our ultimate authority and guide for knowing and following Jesus As disciples, we spend time in the Scriptures both individually and as a group so we can know God deeply and so we can live out his will for our lives.

2 Timothy 3:16 - [16] All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Desired Culture

We practice progress, not perfection. We strive to let grace, kindness, humility, forgiveness, and patience with one another guide us.

Ephesians 4:29-32 - [29] Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. [30] And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. [31] Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. [32] Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Commitment to Weekly Connection

In order to pursue true relational discipleship, we ask that each person commits to meeting weekly, as scheduled. We understand that challenges occur, so grace and understanding are the rules. By committing to the weekly gathering you are affirming the biblical reality that we need other disciples involved in our lives in order to grow in Christlike character, likewise, we are needed in the lives of others.

Hebrews 10:23-25 - [23] Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. [24] And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, [25] not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Methodology

Discipleship Groups gather weekly, for 10-week sessions, at a designated host home. They have an option to share a meal, they have Bible-based discussions, and dedicated times of prayer. Each group consists of 6-12 adults for greater depth in relationship to one another. Their goals are; to apply God’s truth to their lives, to disciple one another, and multiply. Between each cycle, the group takes a break from their standard rhythm to do informal gatherings and outreach in their community. 

Each weekly gathering is coordinated by the leader or a designated admin from within the group. These messages will include; the meeting time, meal theme (if applicable) and any other information that will help each person prepare prior to the gathering.  

Weekly Liturgy

Having a set schedule helps guide our time together and creates an expected standard for each gathering. Our weekly gatherings will generally include times specifically set aside for; 

• Vision - Leaders providing purpose (or why) and goals for the group. 
• Activity - Applying God’s truth to our lives and pursuing the real-world application of what
  we study together. This can include; biblical study, discussion or equipping.
• Prayer - Communing with God together

Prioritizing Mission and Life Together

Our dedication to the mission of God and to the discipleship of one another goes beyond our weekly gathering. We are committed to pursuing one another, in an appropriate manner, outside of our regular gatherings. This includes intentionally and joyfully gathering for service projects, missional outreach, and other social or recreational activities.

The Role of a Leader

All group leaders are imperfect and will lead imperfectly. Your group leader will need your help, encouragement, accountability, just as you need the same from them. However, the group leader bears added responsibility for your oversight. Therefore, in order to aid in the healthy progress of the group, all group members are asked - with kindness, and in pursuit of Spirit-led unity - to defer to the group leader in matters of disagreement and debate, as appropriate, so long as to do so would not be in conflict with Scripture.

Each leader is responsible for vision casting, facilitating discussion and being a champion of discipleship. They ensure that the gathering is a safe place for people to share and encourage a culture of co-discipleship. They also delegate ministry responsibilities such as; administration, coordinating childcare (if applicable) and event planning.

James 3:1 - [1] Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 - [12] We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, [13] and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

Hebrews 13:17 - [17] Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

In review, as a group participant, we ask that you;

• Pledge yourself fully to the Lord with the anticipation that you are entering a time of
  intentional discipleship with others. 
• Agree to meet with your DG weekly when scheduled unless providentially hindered and will contribute to the needs of the group as you are able. 
• If applicable, helping disciple of the kids of your group by occasionally volunteering to care for them during group and using the Bible-based curriculum provided. 
• Contributing to an atmosphere of confidentiality, honesty, and authenticity for the edification of others in the group as well as for your own spiritual growth. 
• Participating in outreach opportunities with your group (service projects, missional outreach, etc.) as you are able. 
• Praying for others in your group and will begin praying about multiplying the discipleship process upon the completion of one years time with the group.