VELOCITY GROUP Week Three NOBODY STANDS ALONE 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 Group: 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 “ Introduction [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 Message 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 & Snacks 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: 1 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 now? 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. Develop: [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 st 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. 1 ‘Social Isolation in America’, American Sociological Review, QUESTION: Who is scheduled to clean up after the meeting tonight? June 2006, http://www.asanet.org/galleries/default- file/June06ASRFeature.pdf 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. http://www.gatewaychurch.com/AboutGateway/MissionVal 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 46-47 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 Church. 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 www.gatewaysmallgroups.com) Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/Gateway 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 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by- 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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