At the heart of Groups at Open Life
The goal is to grow in relationship with one another and Jesus in a genuine way. This is truly doing life together and sharing how the gospel is impacting your life through real conversations not necessarily coordinated.
The heart would be to have groups in every pocket of our community in order that every neighborhood would be impacted by what God is doing through you and those within your group. An easy invite for neighbors who have yet to experience Open Life and a place for those who have and already live near you.
Groups are where people get to lead people, life sharpens life. Where Sundays are a great place to be inspired it’s around tables where people grow. Groups provide that opportunity to flesh out the gospel through everyday life scenarios. You develop relationships with one another and care for one another as you go through the challenges and blesings life tosses your direction. Caring for one another when sickness hits, helping each other move when transitions come and enjoying the kids playing at the park with one another.
Group leaders also become a crucial part in growing the church as you connect with your group on Sundays. You are the glue of the church.
Key ingredients for a successful OL group.
- Prep the Space (vacuum, light a candle, turn on some lights & music)
- Be there early (to welcome everyone as they arrive)
- Set the tone (share with them the plan, point out the bathrooms and where the group will hang out. If applicable share where kids are going to be able to hang out.)
If you are doing a meal make sure you share the items that someone can bring to be a part. Look at the resources below for coordination help. We believe a key part of lowering the barriers and opening our lives to one another comes from the meal. Even if that is just an appetizer or dessert, but there is something powerful about a full meal together. Explore what works for you and your group and the season of life you are all in. (listen to the series “A Meal With Jesus” for the heart of the food factor and how Jesus emphasized this in His small group)
Never underestimate the power of a simple prayer. Groups provide two distinct moments for prayer. 1.) Pray before you serve the food. This is a prayer for the food, and a prayer over your conversation and night together. 2.) Pause the conversation about halfway or two thirds through your night and ask if there is anything that you can be praying for as a group. Have someone write the prayer requests down so you can cover these in prayer throughout the week as well as follow up if it’s something specific. (If someone shares they are having surgery on Monday, shoot them a text that you are praying for them on Sunday Night or early Monday Morning. Follow up and see how the surgery went. Provide the genuine care God has put you in this place of leadership to provide.)
Helpful links/training to facilitate OL group.
- The Groups Page on Planning Center (You should save to your home screen for future access). If you want to learn all that this system can do, here are all the help articles you could desire. Planning Center Groups Zen Desk
- sending messages to group
- select email members
- craft email and send.
- The default for groups is to send a reminder with RSVP from this system 3 days proir to your group
- To edit this open the Groups page, select the down arrow next to “Members”, click on “Events”, Select the next date for your group and edit there and also see who has RSVP’d there.
- sending messages to group
- updating on location of that meeting if moving between homes
- Same as above, open the Group Page on your phone
- Edit location from the Events tab again
- texting over email for last minute details
- People don’t use email like they used to. Daily use is not guaranteed, in fact we all know some who just don’t get to their email ever now.
- Texting is the fastest and best form of communication. Get the mobile numbers of your group and set up a Text group or even an app like Remind (Don’t worry, its free.)
- SignUpGenius for meal items
- This service allows you to set up a meal plan and have people sign out items from that plan to bring. Then it can remind them of those items a couple days before the group. Super helpful for groups sharing a full meal together.