SPARK groups are starting this week! Thank you for being up for serving as a Spark group leader. It’s going to be a great ride for us leaders and those God’s entrusted us with alike. Beth Moore, the author and speaker of our study, invites us to join her in aspiring to reach a new level of relationship and intimacy with God. Let’s do this!
CONTINUE CONTACTING YOUR PEOPLE
By now you all have your group rosters; please continue to contact each of your group members, introducing yourself and letting them know where and when your group is meeting and reminding them to buy their books if they haven't already. If e-mail doesn’t seem to be working to get ahold of some of the ladies in your group, then move to texting or making a phone call.
It's important to make a personal contact with everyone before the first group. Don't underestimate people's nerves when it comes to meeting new people and being a part of a circle!
Pray for the ladies in your group this week
This is the best way to prepare your heart for leading them well over the next six weeks you’ll have together.
Create a great environment
When it comes time for you group to meet, create a welcoming environment in your home, provide refreshments (make a sign up sheet for the following weeks and send it around the circle once the group gets started), greet members warmly as they arrive and start as close to on time as possible once most people have arrived and have enjoyed some social time (15 mins).
Every week, we read a group statement before jumping into the discussion! Our goal is to create a safe place for people to explore life with God together, and this group statement helps create the ground rules for that safe place!
We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. We aim to passionately love Jesus, ruthlessly eliminate ego, courageously live in grace and truth, confidently know who we are in Christ, unconditionally trust God, intentionally live better stories, and selflessly extend compassion.
These are some things we want to be true of our group:
- We create a safe and honest environment, staying transparent and authentic.
- We keep it inside the circle. Confidentiality is necessary for a healthy group.
- We look together to the Bible for help and guidance, and keep out our own politics, sales, or agendas.
- We do not try to fix each other, preach sermons, or give unsolicited advice. We instead encourage, listen to, and celebrate each other.
- We handle conflict between us quickly and honestly by going to the person, owning our part, and practicing forgiveness.
- We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
- We trust that it is God’s role to change people, not ours.
- We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER
Since there's no homework to discuss this week, the bulk of discussion time will be taken up by getting to know each other! Try some of these icebreaker questions to start getting acquainted...
- Ask everyone to share some things that describe their life stage right now... name, vocation, status, kids, etc. Leave it open-ended to let people choose how they describe their lives!
- How did you hear about Mission, or Spark?
- What keeps you coming back to Mission?
- What made you join a Spark Group?
Ask good follow-up questions as people share... use this time to draw information out so everyone can relate to each other as much as possible!
Obviously... there's no homework this week! Use this time to introduce the study and it's format...
Stepping Up is a journey though what's called "the Psalms of Ascent." It's an in-depth study of Psalms 120-134. Psalms is a book in the Bible located right smack in the middle of the book. These particular psalms are about sojourners or pilgrims going to worship God three times a year at feasts in Jerusalem. Through this study we will spend two days on each Psalm of Ascent. Each time we learn a new psalm we’ll practice three approaches: Say it, Work it, & Pray it.
This is a six week study with homework five days a week. Each day will take about 30-45 minutes to complete.
Each time we gather we’ll be discussing the homework we completed the week before and watching a video of Beth Moore, the author and speaker of our study, introducing the material we'll studying the coming week.
Encourage your people to come whether or not they’ve completed their homework, letting them know that the most important part of our experience in this study will be that they spend time alone with God in their Bibles and workbooks. That’s where we’ll hear His voice in the most personal way.
Each week's video is on YouTube, and embedded right here on the Resource! Settle in and watch it together!
Use the last 15 minutes of group to open it up to any prayer requests and close in prayer.
- Don't expect everyone to share something. It can take time to grow closer and open up, so don't force it.
- Keep your ending prayer short and on point - the big thing about praying with each other is praying throughout the week!
Make sure to end the study on time! Decide beforehand if you are up for people hanging out past group time. If you are, let them know they are welcome to hang out but that the study itself will be ending on time each week so that people who need to leave when it’s over can, without feeling like they’re missing a part of group.
BAPTISMS @ THE BEACH
If anyone in your group is interested in getting baptized, or hearing more about it, you can point them to the following things!
- The Baptism Class - February 21 @ 12:45 PM in the box office
Before each baptism event, Mission hosts a baptism class that helps people learn more about baptism, ask questions about how it fits into their stories, and hear about other people's journey toward baptism.
- The Baptism Form - found at missionventura.com/baptism
Before being baptized, we ask everyone to complete the baptism form. It's a great way to walk though your own story before making the decision to go public with your faith!
EMAIL THE PRAYER REQUESTS...
...out after group each gathering so they can be praying for each other throughout the week.
PRAY FOR YOUR LADIES...
...throughout the week, asking God for any promptings on how He may use you to help draw them closer to Him.
CONTACT ANYONE WHO DIDN'T SHOW UP...
...to the first gathering. Let them know they were missed and ask if they plan to join you all in the future. Update your CCB group as you hear of additions/subtractions to your group.