Pastor launched a new small group session in September 2019 with an urgent impression to help us put our armor on—to be ready for what could be coming for us as Christians.
It’s his 2020 vision of church in the temple and in homes.
It’s about “us” and “them”.
It’s about not waiting for the unsaved to grace our doors, but to walk alongside them with the Bible.
Our Small Group advisory team came together to research what groups should/could look like when our Fall session was over. Through all of that, God put it on our hearts that we needed to change the culture of how groups are done. That’s when Freestyle was born—individuals being free to grab a friend or two and form a group that dives into the Word to study what they need at that time and seek God together. It completely coincided with what Pastor was thinking and we didn't even realize it at the time!
We have heard testimonies of how people are reaching out because they now see how easy it is where they didn’t in the past. They see how we can be the feet of Jesus and walk alongside someone in doubt, anxiety, fear to show them how loving our God is.
Obviously, we had no idea what was to come. Enter: COVID-19.
In light of the latest developments and recommendations around the Corona pandemic, we wanted to let small group leaders know of ways they can “freestyle” the next few weeks.
- Continue to reach out to your group members via phone, text, email. Here are a few questions you can ask that can encourage conversation:
- How are you feeling in light of this situation?
- Is it impacting you personally?
- What is God showing you through this?
- Have you had any opportunities to reach someone new?
- How can I encourage you today?
- Utilize social media for the positive by creating a Facebook group for your small group.
- Have “video chats” through Facebook so that you can see each other and be together at the same time online.
- Host a “watch party” inside that Facebook group. You can grab previous Facebook Live events that the church has put on and watch messages that we have shared online since August 2019.
- Do a YouVersion devotional together with the ability to comment on each day’s reading. (Pastor is suggesting “Building Your Faith” which is a 7-day study. You can get to it through this link.)
- If your people aren’t on Facebook, you can invite them to a Google Hangout via email. Google Hangouts are free and allow you to see/hear each other.
- If you need help with any of these options, feel free to let Rita know.
- Look for ways to celebrate what God is doing like one of our elders did:
I met Joshua about 3 weeks ago when I noticed he was struggling with a personal dilemma and it was affecting his work. I pulled him aside and talked with him in hopes that I could help. In the process a line of communication was opened up which enabled me to have several conversations with him over the last couple of weeks. This morning someone on the job site, a foreman, tested positive for the Coronavirus over the weekend. Word spread and instead of 20 people showing up this morning, one did. It was Josh! He didn’t come in to work, he came in to talk about God. Something that is nearly impossible to do with 19 other guys hanging around. We talked about anxiety, and why God would allow this all to happen, about worry, finances, family but mostly we talked about how much Jesus loves us. He doesn’t know Jesus but he’s very curious. We have an appointment Wednesday to talk more and hopefully he will make a decision for Christ. That’s between him and Jesus. I’d like to ask you all to pray for us Wednesday night. The opportunity exists to add another person to heaven and isn’t that what we’re all about. I know the pandemic has everyone in a tither, but what an opportunity. Romans 8:28 tells us “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Even in the midst of great evil He wins I’d encourage you I all to change your focus from despair and anxiety to hope and calm. How? Trust Him!
- Continue to watch the church website, our Facebook page and email to keep up to date on our church family and how we can easily stay connected during this season. We also have a special page with resources to do church with your family and keep the kiddos going with their EPiC curriculum and activities! So cool!
- Don’t forget to share this information with your small group! Feel free to make a decision with your group members on how to “freestyle” your gatherings!
Small Groups Director (and the Life Change Leadership Team)