How is a Connection Group different from a Small Group?
A typical small group will meet to study the gospel to grow in their faith. Whereas a Connection Group is more about developing an intentional community where we can learn to live out the gospel together.
|Typical Small Group
- Meet to study the gospel and grow in their faith
- Focus on knowledge and study of the gospel
- Share scripture and discuss the passage
- Leader heavy
- One Generation or Gender-specific
- Commit to the specific organized time
- For Believers
- Is more about developing an intentional community where we can learn to live out the gospel together
- Focus on the relationship and living out the gospel
- Share food, life, stories, and what God is teaching you
- All Contribute
- Commitment to the organization and the organic
- For anyone who wants to connect
A Connection group, therefore, as they plan their gatherings, include times of connecting with God (Worship, Teaching, Prayer, Silence, etc), times of connecting with each other, (sharing a meal, playing a game, just hanging out, going for a walk, going to someone kid soccer game, etc) and times of connecting with the world ( just like Jesus they are open and asking God how they can make room and connect with those who are close to them and far from God in practical ways).
What is the life cycle of a Connection Group?
We are going to take this one step at a time and continue to evaluate it together. So as we begin (September 2020) we can simply say, that as you join a group, do it with the understanding that our goal is not to see groups stay together forever, but rather to experience individual and community transformation which is the kind of fruit that leads to growth and multiplication.
How big are Connection Groups?
At this point we would say a group should determine what they are comfortable with, keeping in mind these people would become a part of your bubble. As you are discussing the size of your group, keep in mind the state of our province and the risks involved.
How do I sign up if I am interested in being involved?
There are a couple of ways to sign up:
- Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive confirmation that your name is on the list.
- The next call will be from your Host or Facilitator inviting you to be a part of their group. If there are many people interested but no Hosts or Facilitators, we will communicate our need for Hosts and Facilitators to the Church family.
- You can reach out to a Host or Facilitator that you know and invite yourself. They can then discuss (host and facilitator) and determine if you can join based on their current size, availability (they may meet on a day you are unavailable), and other factors that may be in play.
- If you get the green light from them – enjoy the connection group
- If there is not enough room or the day they meet doesn’t work for you and you want help to know other groups to join, reach out to Marty.
How do Connection Groups form?
The first step to forming a connection group is for us to find a Facilitator and a Host.
- Identify Hosts
- Identify Facilitator
- Confirm that Host and Facilitator will be a good fit
Then we share the list of people interested in joining a group with the Host and Facilitator.
- The Host or Facilitator will then initiate communication with those interested in joining a Connection Group, share general information, and invite them to join. General information may include
- Name of Host and Facilitator
- Options for a meeting (day(s) and times that are available
- Others who are interested
- Answer any other questions you may have
- The interested party can decide to join or not
What does a Connection Group look like?
Well, that depends on the connection group you are a part of. Each group will look different because there are different kinds of hosts, facilitators, and people with different gifts.
What will be common to each is:
- The overarching vision: we exist to equip people to live transformed and empowered lives through Jesus.
- A commitment to regularly connect with each other and over the month(s) includes a connection with God, each other, and those outside the faith.
- Each group will have a Host(s) and Facilitator and participants
- Each group will do their best to be intergenerational
Other than that you are free to create an environment where relationships can grow and where we can learn to authentically follow Jesus together and to live out the kind of life we would want to invite others into.
I would like to Host a group, what do I do?
A host simply opens their home for the group to meet in. If the group is sharing a meal or just dessert together the host can coordinate and communicate with the group what to bring. We suggest creating a messenger group for this. (or find another app or medium that everyone in the group uses as a way to communicate)
I would like to facilitate a group, what do I do?
A facilitator simply helps move the night along in a way that is unforced and natural. It will be important for the facilitator not to just plunge forward with the agenda, but while following the planned agenda they have the posture of listening UP to the Father and also listening IN to where the group is at. The vision is not to have everything go according to the Facilitators plan, but to see God transform individuals and the community by his spirit and through the body working together.
- Is responsible for communicating important information to the group via whatever medium they choose (we suggest creating a Facebook messenger group chat)
- Be encouraged to connect with other facilitators once a month for mutual learning, support, and debriefing
- Would be willing to identify an apprentice and intentionally help equip another individual or couple to be facilitators in the future