Week Three
Want to get people talking before the meeting starts? Ask this question:
Last week we talked about God entering our stress. Has God done anything to enter
your stress in the last week? What happened?

  RATE of MOTION                                                                     EXPERIENCES
  Velocity Groups are 6-week Small Groups designed to create a new rate of           Here are the kinds of personal experiences you might have as you journey
  relational and spiritual speed in your life. We are all at different places        through the Velocity group in the coming weeks:
  relationally and spiritually. Some people are not moving at all while others are        A safe place to share stories from your life
  already at warp speed.                                                                  A relational place where you listen and respond to others
                                                                                          A learning place to investigate following Christ
  We hope this group experience will be a stimulus for movement from your                 A challenging place to increase your speed towards God
  current velocity to a new speed. This group is essentially about four areas of          A serving place where you practically go meet other’s needs
  velocity in your life. We describe them at Gateway as the Way of Christ:                A multiplying place where your influence spreads to others
         Loving God
         Loving People                                                              WHAT to BRING
         Building Character                                                         1. Yourself – commit to coming every week
         Be the Body                                                                2. Bring a Modern Translation of the Bible – NIV, ESV, Message, or others. If
                                                                                     you don’t have a Bible we will have a couple extras at the meeting for you.
  TELLING STORIES                                                                    The first few weeks we will have the passages printed in the materials for
                                                                                     you. If you ask the church they will probably give you a Bible for free.
  Because most of the people in this group are new to the group we will spend a
  lot of our group time telling one another stories from our lives and our current
  velocity towards God and others.                                                   TABLE of CONTENTS
                                                                                      Week 1             ME STRANGE?                  Loving God
  EXPECTATIONS                                                                        Week 2
                                                                                      Week 3
                                                                                                         MAXIMUM STRESS
                                                                                                         NOBODY STANDS ALONE
                                                                                                                                      Loving God
                                                                                                                                      Loving People
  When our group meets together we should expect these kinds of practical
  guidelines to keep the group moving forward:                                        Week 4             BIGGER THAN OURSELVES        Be the Body
        A facilitator for the group                                                  Week 5             THE LIFE YOU REALLY WANT     Building Character
        A touch of simple hospitality                                                Week 6             RATE of MOTION               Next Steps for Group
        A time schedule to keep
        Group materials to guide your time                                           In addition
        Sharing responsibilities of the group                                       to these meetingA SOCIAL OUTING                  Loving People
        Serving the needs of people in the group and in your world                  times our group A SERVICE PROJECT                Be the Body
        Multiplying this group to include others                                    will also plan---

                                                                                                                                             Week 3 page 1 of 5
CHALLENGES for a NEW                                                            GOD is an ‘US’…                                                         GROUP GUIDE
GROUP                                                                           [Read Together] Gateway is a church that values authentic
                                                                                caring community where ‘Nobody Stands Alone.’ This means            Group Objectives:
[Read Together] Today’s challenge is about all of us being at different         that we want every person to have inter-connected                    Meet Everyone
spiritual seasons. When a new group comes together to talk about their          relationships of trust, encouragement, challenge and support.        Share Stories
spiritual life and velocity towards God you might start to notice that                                                                               Search the Scriptures
everyone is in a different place. Gateway has tried to define three distinct    Thankfully God demonstrates this kind of inter-connectedness         Follow up on Roles
spiritual seasons to help clarify where people are in their journey. This       for us. We will be reviewing two passages of scripture today to      Invite People to Return
helps you as a group better understand one another.                             see God’s story. First, have two people read Genesis 1:26 from
                                                                                the two different Bible translations below. Listen to it twice as   Format for Tonight’s
As a group read the ‘Challenges for a New Group’ on the right side bar
                                                                                you read along.
                                                                                                                                                    10 min. – Arrive, Snack & Greet
together. Have different people in the group read the descriptions.                                                                                 5 min. – Facilitator Welcome &
                                                                                Genesis 1:26 – Then God said, "Let us make man in our

[Read Together – Challenges for a New Group]                                    image, in our likeness…” NIV, New International Version
                                                                                                                                                    5 min. – Challenges for a New Group
                                                                                Genesis 1:26 – “God spoke: ‘Let us make human beings                30 min. – Nobody Stands Alone
After reading together about the spiritual seasons we now have some
                                                                                in our image, make them reflecting our nature…’ The                           Stories
perspective on which individuals are in which season. No season is better                                                                           30 min. – God is an ‘US’ and so
or worse than any another, rather we are all at different places on a                                                                                         should ‘WE’ and Prayer
journey. We will use the language of the spiritual seasons in upcoming          What personal pronoun is used in this passage to describe           10 min. – Group Roles
weeks as our group considers next steps.                                        God?                                                                Open min. – End Group: Mingle &

NOBODY STANDS ALONE …and so should ‘WE’                                                                                                             Challenges for a New
[Read Together] “Between the years 1985 and 2004…The number of people           It is surprising to many people that God is described as a plural   Group:
saying there is ‘no one’ with whom they discuss important matters nearly        noun in this passage. God demonstrates his own relational           At Gateway we define the spiritual
tripled. This data is disturbing because Social Scientists know that contacts                                                                       seasons of a person’s life in three
                                                                                connection in his identity as God – as the Father, the Son and
                                                                                                 2                                                  ways:
with other people are important. The closer and stronger our tie with           the Holy Spirit . We are all created in God’s image and part of
someone, the broader the scope of their support for us and the greater the      that image is having an inter-connected need for relationships.     Discover:
likelihood that they will provide major help in a crisis.”                                                                                          “I’m checking things out. Either I’m
                                                                                Not only do we see God as inter-connected relationally we also      not a Christ-follower, or I’ve very
              --‘Social Isolation in America’, American Sociological Review     see from the ancient early church that Christ followers             recently become one. I have
                                                                                depended heavily on their relationships with one another for        questions, but I want more than easy
Have each person answer one or both of the following questions:                 the encouragement they needed to keep increasing their              answers. I want to get to know
                                                                                velocity towards God and others.                                    people and find out what this is
  1. Is your circle of relationships shrinking or growing right now and why?                                                                        really all about. I may be interested
                                                                                Now let’s look at a second passage of Scripture about how the
  2. Who knows you best and what does that relationship look like right                                                                                         …More on the next page
                                                                                first followers of Jesus lived. Have two people each read Acts
                                                                                2:42-47 to the group from different translations of the Bible.

                                                                                                                                                                 Week 3 page 2 of 5
[Note] This is the last week the scripture passages will be printed in the
back of the material. Everyone should start bringing their own Bible to the    APPLICATION STEPS                                                 Challenges for a New
group.                                                                         [Read Together] One of the reasons we are planning a social       Group …cont’d
                                                                               event where we eat a meal together is so we can practice          in a small group. I may be open to
SCRIPTURE:                                                                     sharing our lives with one another like these ancient followers
                                                                               of Jesus. We will talk more about our plans for this meal
                                                                                                                                                 serving. I’m open to learning. Just
                                                                                                                                                 don’t ask me to do anything weird.”
JUST the FACTS                                                                 together when we discuss the Roles in the Group.
[Read Together] Let’s answer some fact based questions about the                                                                                 “I am a Christ-follower. I want to
Scriptures we just read together:                                              PRAYER TOGETHER                                                   learn more, especially about
                                                                                                                                                 developing a more satisfying
  1. What were the apostles doing?                                             [Read Together] Prayer is just simply talking to God. God is
                                                                                                                                                 experience with Christ. I have some
  2. What were the first followers of Jesus doing?                             more concerned with the attitude of your heart than he is the
                                                                                                                                                 experience with spiritual practices
  3. What emotionally descriptive words can you find about what it felt like   actual words used. Don’t stress about getting the words right.
                                                                                                                                                 like studying Scripture, prayer, and
  to be a part of this community?                                              It’s about speaking honestly to God from your heart.              walking with the Spirit, but I need
                                                                                                                                                 greater consistency. I’d like to have

SCRIPTURE:                                                                     As we read in the scriptures today, part of how the early
                                                                               church community lived in a way where ‘Nobody Stands Alone’
                                                                                                                                                 “spiritual running partners” who
                                                                                                                                                 know my struggles and inspire me to
WHAT’S the MEANING?                                                            was by praying for each other. Let’s do that together tonight.    greater depth. From time to time, I
                                                                                                                                                 slip back into old patterns not
[Read Together] Let’s try to understand what this passage means:               Break up into sub-groups of three. Give each person a chance      consistent with my commitment, and
                                                                                                                                                 I’d like that to stop. I want to make a
  1. Why do think these people cared so much for each other?                   to share the one thing they want, need or hope for in order to
                                                                                                                                                 difference; I want to learn more
  2. Why do you think this community was so attractive to outsiders            better live in inter-connected community with others. Then,
                                                                                                                                                 about my unique role in the Body of
  wanting to be a part of it?                                                  using a 2 or 3 sentence prayer, pray for the person on your       Christ. I genuinely want to follow
  3. What prevents people in 21 century America from living in                 right.                                                            Christ.”
  community like this?
                                                                               If you are uncomfortable with praying out loud then just say a    Deepen:
                                                                                                                                                 “I have been consistently following
SCRIPTURE:                                                                     silent prayer for them.
                                                                                                                                                 Christ for years. I have daily spiritual
                                                                                                                                                 habits that keep me connected with
PERSONAL to ME                                                                 [Pray Now]
                                                                                                                                                 God’s Spirit and spiritual friends who
                                                                                                                                                 challenge me to grow. I also have
[Read Together] Let’s increase our personal velocity towards God and
                                                                                                                                                 friends who are far from God that I
others by making these questions personal to our lives.
                                                                                                                                                 pray for and serve regularly. I still
  1. How is your velocity towards other people similar to or different from                                                                      have questions, but I know what I
                                                                                                                                                 believe and why. Those who know
  those first followers of Jesus?
                                                                                                                                                 me best would say that I’m
  2. What would have to change in your life to become more like the            Continue reading on the next page about the Roles in this
  people described in this passage?                                            Group.                                                                       …More on the next page

                                                                                                                                                               Week 3 page 3 of 5
MY ROLE in this GROUP                                                               does everyone need to know about this event? Are there
                                                                                    any ongoing questions about it?
                                                                                                                                                  Challenges for a New
                                                                                                                                                  Group …cont’d
[Read Together] We are each owners of this group. The group facilitator
only contributes a part of the whole. In order for this group to gain greater   (New Role)                                                        becoming more and more of the
velocity each person should take on a role in the group.                        Service Coordinator – In our next session together we will        person that God longs for me to be. I
                                                                                                                                                  know my God-given purpose and the
                                                                                be talking about living a life that is “Bigger than Ourselves.”
Let’s review the roles for the group. If we need to assign new people roles                                                                       unique needs of our culture. I’m
                                                                                This means that collectively when we serve to meet the            making an impact in the areas of my
we can do that now. Also notice we will be adding a New Role next week
                                                                                physical and spiritual needs of the people around us in our       gifts and passions. My greatest
called the Service Coordinator. Read the description and be thinking if you
                                                                                life, neighborhood, city and world we can have meaningful         desire is to help others discover,
want to fill this role.
                                                                                impact in people’s lives. Consider if you would like to be the    develop, or deepen their own walk
                                                                                one that coordinates how our group will serve others. We          with Christ."
Bring a Snack – each week bring packaged cookies, crackers, etc and             will talk about more specifics next week.
maybe fill up a pitcher of water for the group (don’t go over the top                                                                             Now, everyone take a minute and
here, this is not a bakery contest).                                                                                                              think through which of these seasons
                                                                                COMMIT to COMING BACK NEXT                                        best describes your spiritual season
  QUESTION: Who is scheduled to bring the snacks next week?                     WEEK.                                                             right now, then have everyone
                                                                                                                                                  answer this question:
Communicator - create a phone and email list. After the group list is                                                                             QUESTION: Which spiritual season
created make sure everyone gets a weekly email or phone call about the                                                                            comes closest to describing you and
next group meetings, events or updates.                                                                                                           why do think so?
  QUESTION: Is the group phone and email list created? Does everyone                                                                              [Answer this question together now]
  have a copy yet?

Cleanup Crew – after the meeting these people help the host clean up by
putting chairs back in place or trash in the can. Everyone should be on the
cleanup crew at some point.
                                                                                  ‘Social Isolation in America’, American Sociological Review,
  QUESTION: Who is scheduled to clean up after the meeting tonight?
                                                                                June 2006,
Social Coordinator – this person will plan/organize a time for the group
to meet for a meal together. It might be at someone’s home or at a              2
                                                                                 God - We believe in one God, creator of all things, infinitely
restaurant. If it is in a home have everyone bring a part of the meal and
                                                                                perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son,
share it with others. If you go out to a restaurant be sensitive to financial
                                                                                and Holy Spirit. Gateway Community Church Mission, Values         Now, go back to page 2 and continue
constraints and keep it inexpensive. We hope every Velocity Group will
                                                                                and Beliefs.                                                      reading as a group in the ‘Challenges
have one meal together during the 6-weeks of this group.                                                                                          to a New Group’ section.
  QUESTION: Has everyone saved the date for the Social Event? What              uesandBeliefs/tabid/135/Default.aspx

                                                                                                                                                                Week 3 page 4 of 5
              Acts 2:42-47                                                                Acts 2:42-47                                 Gateway Value
42                                                                                41-42
   They devoted themselves to the apostles'                                            That day about three thousand took him at     God's Word
                                                                                                                                     We believe that people are
teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of                                his word, were baptized and were signed up.        transformed when they
bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with                                   They committed themselves to the teaching of       understand and apply Biblical
                                                                                                                                     truths (II Timothy 3:16-17,
awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs                                        the apostles, the life together, the common        Hebrews 4:12, Romans 10:17,
were done by the apostles. 44All the believers                                    meal, and the prayers.                             Psalm 1:1-3). The Bible is the
                                                                                                                                     living, active word of God which
were together and had everything in common.                                       43-45                                              the Holy Spirit can use to
45                                                                                    Everyone around was in awe—all those
   Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to                                                                                 transform a life. Therefore, we
                                                                                  wonders and signs done through the apostles!       will seek to help every person
anyone as he had need. 46Every day they                                                                                              understand and apply God's
                                                                                  And all the believers lived in a wonderful
continued to meet together in the temple courts.                                                                                     word. It will be the authority for
                                                                                  harmony, holding everything in common. They        all that we do.
They broke bread in their homes and ate together
                                                                                  sold whatever they owned and pooled their
with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and                                                                                       Gateway Belief
                                                                                  resources so that each person's need was met.
enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord
                                                                                                                                     The Bible
added to their number daily those who were                                             They followed a daily discipline of worship   We believe the Scriptures, both
being saved (new followers).                                                                                                         Old and New Testaments, are
                                                                                  in the Temple followed by meals at home, every
                                                                                                                                     given by God's inspiration, and in
                                                                                  meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as       the original writings they are
        NIV (New International                                                    they praised God. People in general liked what     without error. We believe the
               Version)                                                           they saw. Every day their number grew as God
                                                                                                                                     Scriptures originated with God
                                                                                                                                     but were written by the
                                                                                                                                     instrumentality of people and
Apostles - (literally) to be sent with a particular purpose. Specifically it is   added those who were saved (new followers).
the group of people who followed Jesus during his life and after Jesus’                                                              thus speak with the authority of
death were commissioned representatives for the ongoing ministry.                                                                    God while reflecting the
                                                                                             The Message                             backgrounds, styles, and
Temple Courts – This is the physical building where the Hebrew people                                                                vocabularies of the human
held religious festivals and ongoing worship. The Temple Courts were                                                                 authors. They are the unique and
open areas that surrounded the main building structure.                                                                              final authority on all matters of
                                                                                                                                     Christian faith and practice.

                                                                                                                                                  Week 3 page 5 of 5
            FACILITATOR’S NOTES                                                                            Facilitators must be thinking about the
                                                                                                           Whole Group
            God Causes the Growth                                                                                   While most people will be thinking about themselves during the
                     You are only responsible for organizing the group, facilitating the                            group time, the facilitator will be trying to assess how everyone is
                      outline of the Velocity Group material and praying for people in the                           experiencing the group.
                      group. God is responsible for true growth and transformation in the
                      individuals who are in the group.                                                             Gateway, as a church, seeks to provide a high level of care for
                                                                                                                     people through small groups like this Velocity Group. As the
            Benefits of a Velocity Group?                                                                            facilitator you should be looking for the care needs discovered in
                     The group is primarily geared towards relationship building. People                            people’s lives and get the group to take action with you to follow
                      grow best when they are known and loved.                                                       up with those people. Make phone calls, send e-mails, give
                                                                                                                     referrals, or do practical services to meet people’s needs.
                     6-week groups are short enough for people to commit to trying it
                      but long enough to develop bonds of relational trust with others                              If you don’t know an answer to a question or particular passage of
                      that will hopefully continue beyond the initial 6-weeks.                                       Scripture just tell people, “I don’t know, let’s investigate that
                                                                                                                     together and come back to it another time.”
                     The group will have a common community building experience
                      around the mission, vision and values of Gateway Community
                     This group is about relationally investigating where each person has
                      come from and where they are going. During the group individuals
                      will have a chance to identify what spiritual season there in. After
                      the 6-weeks everyone will be given a chance to consider the group's
                      next steps.
                     This material can be easily facilitated by new small group leaders.
                      People going through the group right now can use these materials                     FEEDBACK to GATEWAY
                      in the future with others they know; neighbors, friends, family, co-                 If anyone in the group wants to give feedback on how the group is going we
                      workers.                                                                             would love to hear from you. We want to hear ideas, successes,
                                                                                                           celebrations, struggles, concerns, etc. about your Velocity Group.
                     The materials are free for everyone (.pdf available online at
                                                                      Email us at

This material, Velocity Group, was prepared by Gateway Community Church in 2009. You are free to share this material (i.e. copy it for your group members) under the following conditions:
1. You must attribute the work to Gateway Community Church, Austin. 2. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. 3. You may not alter or transform this work (i.e. you can’t take text from this
work and include it in your own materials or articles) For details, refer to Community Church, 7104 McNeil Drive Austin, TX 78729
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit
nc-nd/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

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