WEEK 3 - Prayerful Listening
Leaders, this week is all about praying while listening. Seeking the Holy Spirit's guidance while others share.
With the topic this week, I thought it would be important to ask these questions of you. They are rhetorical of course but essential to consider none the less. How are you doing at cultivating a culture of prayer within your group? Are you praying for those you are leading?
As disciples of Jesus, we are taught how to pray (Matt. 6:5-15). As well, that God desires that we pray for one another in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18; James 5:16; 1 Timothy 2:1). Yet, praying for others can become an area where we struggle. Either due to inexperience, apathy or even lack of compassion. The reality is that we are weak and first need to ask for the Spirit's help (Romans 8:26-27).
As leaders, you have the opportunity to help form habits and disciplines in people which will grow them in love for God and others. One way to do this is by exemplifying the practice yourself. By examining your heart, repenting if need be, and asking the Lord to change you. Then through your experience, encouraging your group to do the same. Leading by example and leading out of transparency.
Also by challenging those in your group to not only seek growth for themselves but to be looking for ways to help others in the group grow as well.
To help, here are some practical ways that you can cultivate prayer within your group;
Invite Others to Pray - Invite someone from your group to pray for; the meal, before the discussion, or at the close of your time together. This shares the responsibility of leadership and encourages a culture of co-discipleship.
Prayer Request Cards - Have people fill them out and place them in a bowl. Then send out via email or post on your page so people can be praying for each other throughout the week. (Make sure everyone is comfortable with their requests being emailed/ posted)
Prayer Model - Use a prayer model like T.A.C.O.S. or A.C.T.S. during your gathering to help grow the group in structured prayer to God and for each other.
One of the methods that I would suggest staying away from is the open-ended "prayer request" time. This is where leaders ask if anyone has a request, individuals share - often at length - and the leader asks "who wants to pray for ____?". This assigning practice has good intention but often I've found people often talk more than actually praying.
I entrust that each of you will identify methods that work best for your particular group. If you need support in this area, please connect with your coach or you can contact me as well. Love you guys!
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all!
- Pastor Tim
MEDIA + LITURGY
Below is a guideline for your time together this week:
Vision Cast - This could be a good opportunity to remind the group of your commitment to them and your expectation that they would be committed to each other. It might be helpful to acknowledge the fact that this equipping is meant to challenge and grow us.
Training (video) - The video this week features a conversation from a women's group discussion. Similar to the men's group, we pre-recorded these discussions however they are unscripted and unrehearsed. This week's video is a little bit longer, just over 14 minutes, so please plan accordingly.
Apprenticeship - This week we are working to help grow people in their attentiveness to the Holy Spirit within their conversations. We will do this by watching the video training and then putting what we learn into practice. Please note that it will be important for people to take notes during these times. We will be using our notes in the coming weeks. Also, coming up, the apprenticeship format will change from listening to the skill of asking on week 5.
Immersion - Allow enough time to cover this section on pg 36. Similar to other weeks, it should only take 5-10 minutes but is an integral part of developing holistic friendships. During this time you could also ask how the immersion went the previous week.