G.R.O.U.P A to Z

A complete guide on how to do G.R.O.U.P.

G.R.O.U.P. INTRODUCTION NIGHT

Introduction night is the first session of the total 12 week season.  You will want to invite and encourage as many potential G.R.O.U.P. participants to attend this all-important informational meeting.  No lesson will be taught at this meeting.  However, a handout with the purposes and disciplines of discipleship will be introduced and explained thoroughly.  Also, a prepared agenda and calendar of proposed meetings should be presented.  Allow time for questions and answers and begin and close in prayer.  A G.R.O.U.P. representative can be requested to attend and help facilitate the introduction night by contacting G.R.O.U.P. Ministries in advance.

G.R.O.U.P. STRUCTURE

The following skeletal structure is a guideline to help make your discipleship G.R.O.U.P. operate more smoothly and effectively. Remember, flexibility is needed.  Adapt the environment to your G.R.O.U.P.’s needs; however, the purpose of discipleship should never be compromised.

Sizes of each G.R.O.U.P. as an ideal model:

Large G.R.O.U.P.: Twelve total in G.R.O.U.P. (1 teacher + 2 helpers + 9 disciples)

Small G.R.O.U.P.: Four or less (1 leader or helper + 3 disciples)

The larger group will be divided up into smaller groups, as shown, with the following recommendations.

  1. Time Recommendation

• Start each session with refreshments and small group time.

• Small group discussion; review of previous lesson, prayer requests and encouragement. (15-30 mins)

• Lesson time for the large G.R.O.U.P. should begin at appointed time. (Approximately 1- 1½ )

Small G.R.O.U.P.s

• Being Spirit-led as well as being prepared is essential!  Leaders need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and be totally dependent on God.

• Consists of one leader (either the leader or their helper(s) ) and three disciples.

• One of the purposes for small        group is to allow everyone an equal opportunity to share testimonies, praise reports, etc.

• Leaders need to LISTEN!

• Leaders need to be compassionate, loving, caring and encouraging to all.

• Small G.R.O.U.P. session is a time for accountability.  Questions should be asked in regard to the disciple’s personal application from the previous lesson(s).  A accountability card can be used as a guide.

• Leaders need to be sensitive to the needs of group members.

• Pray with the G.R.O.U.P. members.  Offer prayer but do not force it.

• Leaders should stay in contact with their disciples during the week either by calling, visiting, or sending a e-mail.

• Leaders should plan a time of fellowship with their disciples at least once every two weeks.

Large G.R.O.U.P.s

•        Remember that being Spirit-led as well as prepared is essential!  Leaders must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and be totally dependent on God.

• A large G.R.O.U.P. can consist of twelve disciples (1 teacher + 2 helpers + 9 disciples).  This is only a recommendation.

• A time of Spirit-led worship can be incorporated at the beginning or end of the lesson time.

• The lesson time needs to remain between 1 & 1 ½ .  Try to be mindful of the time.  This is important especially for those G.R.O.U.P.’s involving teenagers whose school and family priorities must be taken into consideration.  Please try to keep questions and comments to a minimum unless you are teaching chapters 6, 7 and 8.  These three chapters deserve more attention and practical discussion.

  • Leaders need to keep in mind that they are responsible for maintaining the group’s focus.  They should be aware of limiting idle talk and long stories that may not concern the lesson.

•        All of the leaders (teacher and helpers) are responsible for reviewing the material before each lesson.  Leaders are encouraged to be creative with their teaching by drawing from their own experiences when illustrating principles in the chapters.

•        Pray before each lesson.  Remain in an attitude of prayer during and after the lesson.

•        Leaders should understand that the large G.R.O.U.P. sessions are for the disciples (students) to receive rather than give.  The students should be focused on learning and listening – taking the role of a disciple and not a teacher.  It is not necessary to repeat or preach in addition to what has already been stated in the manual or by another individual.

G.R.O.U.P. LEADERSHIP QUALITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

It is of utmost importance that a leader’s attitudes and actions model those of Christ.  Leaders are to set an example.  Disciples need to see in a leader someone whose character consistently reflects a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.  Below are basic disciplines G.R.O.U.P. leaders and helpers should commit themselves to:

Leaders:

  • Leaders are to serve in total dependence on the Holy Spirit.

•  Leaders are to live in humility.  Be careful of pride (I Corinthians 10:13).

•  Leaders are to be focused on Christ and the mission of discipleship and not there own purposes or agenda.

•  Leaders are to be careful not to place condemnation on any individuals who decide not to attend G.R.O.U.P.  Remember: G.R.O.U.P. is NOT the all in all answer.  Jesus, the Word, is life’s answer!

•  Leaders are to be dependable and faithful to the call and ministry God has placed them in for a season.  Service unto the Lord must be taken seriously and all things must be done as unto the Lord.

•  Leaders are to respect a disciple’s confidentiality, especially when ministering.  You must not repeat what is shared with you to others.  This breaks down the element of trust that you are developing with the people involved in G.R.O.U.P.

•  Leaders must be accountable to other leaders and peers.

Helpers:

  • Helpers should have the same qualities as stated above for the leader.
  • Helpers are to be respectful and submitted to their leader.
  • Helpers are to watch and learn from their leader.
  • Helpers are to assist the leader, if asked, in teaching, leading the accountability groups or performing other task associated with G.R.O.U.P.

MODELING SERVANTHOOD

The following are examples of ways that servanthood can be modeled in your G.R.O.U.P.  Plan dates for disciples to serve in community service projects.  Opportunities to serve can be sought in the G.R.O.U.P. community of disciples or in the local church or civic community.  (For example: Visitation to the elderly at home or in nursing homes; assisting community projects with organizations like Habitat for Humanity; feeding the homeless in soup kitchens, etc.)  Servanthood can also be modeled by leaders offering refreshments during G.R.O.U.P. night or help organize and delegate the responsibility among other helper leaders.  All leaders should help with set-up and clean up at each G.R.O.U.P. session.

HOW TO TEACH THE LESSON

Teaching CDs and downloads from G.R.O.U.P website www.groupministries.org are available in order to give you an example on how to teach each lesson.  The leaders, helpers, and students are responsible for reviewing and doing the exercises for each chapter before each lesson.  This helps discussion and general communication to be more open and effective.  Try not to read straight through the lesson as the Leader.  We encourage you to be creative with your teaching by drawing from your own experiences when illustrating principles in the chapters.  Remember, your teaching style combined with your unique personality will always is what makes the lesson personal rather than generic.

Allow the Holy Spirit to use you.  You may stop here and there emphasizing certain points while giving illustrations and personal testimonies.  You may want to ask questions and allow the other small group leaders (helpers) to make comments.  Others can make comments or ask question during the lesson, but remain focused.  As stated earlier, chapters 6, 7 and 8 will deserve more discussion time, so keep that in mind.

PRAYER NIGHT

There may be a time of prayer before or after the lesson and within small group accountability. However, an additional night of prayer for healing and deliverance should be set aside. This is a time where disciples can be prayed for concerning their healing and deliverance.  Disciples may choose not  to participate in prayer, but the leader needs to make this option available.  When praying, simply take one person at a time and allow them to share.  Follow the example of Spiritual Inventory included with the manual for prayer.  Next, lead them through the steps provided, and as always, be lead by the Holy Spirit!  Prayer nights may take longer than one evening so an additional night may have to be scheduled.  Play some soft worship music in the background if it is not a distraction.  Be mindful that some disciples may not feel comfortable with group prayer. Offer individual prayer or encourage disciples to go through the prayers themselves.

FELLOWSHIP OUTSIDE OF TRAINING

This cannot be stressed enough.  Spend time building relationships.  Your primary assignment, as a G.R.O.U.P. leader, is to assist people in becoming more like Christ. Don’t just teach the manual.  Invest your time in the people participating in G.R.O.U.P, and get involved in their lives.  In return, you will reap the valuable reward of fellowship.  These are some examples: take someone to lunch; have a cookout; invite them to come over to your house or spend an evening with them; go hiking, biking, or running together; etc.  As you will learn in the manual; the kingdom of God is about relationships.  G.R.O.U.P. is just one of many ways to practice that.

THE DISCIPLE: WHAT WILL THEY BE LIKE WHEN THEY FINISH?

After completing a season of discipleship, a person should have better understanding of who God is and who they are in Christ.  They should have a clearer vision of the world from God’s perspective, and have gathered an understanding of how they are to assist God in participating in His kingdom.  G.R.O.U.P. is to be place were people are nurtured and cared for. And as a result, healing and love are poured into their lives so that they can do the same for others.  Any individual participating in G.R.O.U.P. discipleship will only receive to the degree that they respect and submit to their leader, the lessons, the bible, and ultimately God.  So, just as we at G.R.O.U.P.  Ministries, have been commissioned by Christ to make disciples of men and women, we hope that through G.R.O.U.P. people will be healed, delivered, equipped, and empowered by God to do the same.

FINAL COMMENTS

To enhance the teaching of the manual we have included at the end of each chapter, books that further expound on the lessons.  We would like to encourage everyone to read and study the Bible.   Memorizing scripture and writing in a journal can be helpful through the season of discipleship and teaching.  Remember to be original and creative in your presentation and illustrations as a leader!  As much as possible, don’t try to imitate previous teachers.  Be yourself.

G.R.O.U.P. MINISTRIES  SUPPORT

Remember, you will always have the support of G.R.O.U.P. ministries. It is our greatest desire to help and encourage you in the ministry of discipleship.  If you have any questions or prayer concerns, please contact us.

U.S.A :  + 1 423 546-4336

Australia : Barry +61 0423715366

Esther : +61 0422192944

Email us at : groupministries@ymail.com

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