>>> LEADER TIP: Getting Started!
Thank you for leading a Women's Group! What you do matters immensely. This week is all about getting everyone to attend your group’s very first gathering together - week 1 is the most important!
Pray for the ladies in your group, that they show up and make some great connections right off the bat.
When it comes time for you group to meet, create a welcoming environment in your home:
Play music as they arrive.
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 at the door as they arrive.
Start as close to on time as possible once most people have arrived and have enjoyed some social time (15 minutes or so).
>>> LEADER TIP: Introducing the Group Statement
In a new group, it's important to explain why we read the group statement before our discussion. Explain that it's a set of "ground rules" that helps us all ensure that everyone feels safe to share and be "for each other".
Let everyone know that you'll gently correct someone when they "break the rules" - it's not a huge deal or problem, so don't make a big deal about it! Safety is huge deal - make it everyone's responsibility to keep the circle safe for everyone to share, no matter what it is.
If it helps, ask if everything makes sense and have a quick discussion about anything that is unclear!
We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. 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.
Ask everyone to share with the group anything they feel comfortable sharing:
- Where they’re from
- Vocation/how they spend their time
- How they heard about Mission
- What kept them coming back to Mission
- What their involvement at Mission has been so far (volunteer? other group? Free Friday Flicks/Night to Remember?)
- What they hope to get out of this their group experience
>>> LEADER TIP: Stay here awhile!
This should take the majority of the discussion time this week - probably around 40 minutes! If it doesn't, and you don't end up talking the whole time, feel free to watch the video that previews the homework and next week's discussion and then end early!
>>> LEADER TIP: about the study
Beth Moore, the author of our study, Living Free, invites us to join her in learning to pray God’s word. She calls it the practice of “breathing Scripture.” In this 7-week study we’ll learn that we cannot please God by being perfect (phew!). Instead of running ourselves ragged trying to be perfect, we’ll learn to replace false strongholds with true freedom in Christ.
A fun addition to this study is that Jen & Jodi have recorded short and impactful videos to preview the study that we'll do during the following week.
How it Works
We’ll meet together weekly and use our workbooks for personal study and prayer between our gatherings (5 days of homework each week). Please come whether or not you've completed the homework! The most important part of our experience is the time we spend together, any time that we spend alone with God in our Bibles and workbooks. With the two working together, we’ll hear His voice in the most personal way. Each time we gather we’ll watch a short and impactful video of Jen & Jodi queueing up our weekly discussions and then discuss the homework we completed that week.
>>> LEADER TIP: About the videos!
The videos this session will preview the homework that you'll do over the next week. Watch them after your discussion! They are all about 15 minutes long.
The videos are on Vimeo, so you can watch them by connecting your computer to your TV with an HDMI cable, or by using a simple casting device like a Chromecast, Roku Stick, Amazon Fire TV Stick, or Apple TV!
Demolishing Strongholds (pages 7-29)
Use the last 15 minutes of group to ask if anyone has any prayer requests and close in prayer. Send around the prayer requests out to the group so everyone can be praying throughout the week.