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Connection Group Ideas

Connection Group Ideas

From Live It OUT

Author: Web Master/Sunday, January 29, 2017/Categories: Connecting Tips, Live It Out, Library

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Sometimes our Connection Groups need to freshen up our time together and how we support the mission God has put before us.  This article helps with new ideas that can deepen our relationships with each other, express meaningful worship in our group setting, and reach out neighbors with the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

 

Mission (Evangelism)

  1. Have each member write his/her personal "faith story" - Use "Just Walk Across the Room", session 3 for "good" faith stories AND "bad" faith stories :) !
  2. Children or youth may write (with adult assistance) "faith stories" or draw the story in pictures.
  3. PRACTICE sharing the "faith stories" with each other.
  4. Participate in a REVIVE Dayton experience.
  5. Memorize and practice sharing the Gospel with the Bible verses on the 5-colors wristband and getting comfortable with the 5-colors tabbed Bible - REVIVE videos.
  6. God is the One Who brings people to faith.  Our role is to be available to connect as the Holy Spirit guides and presents opportunities.  Give your Connection Group (CG) members a sheet with the following questions.  Have each member insert in the blanks the name of 1 person they are praying for and trying to make connections.  Then have them share with another partner in CG or with the whole CG… his/her answers to the questions:
    • Love - Does ________________ know I care about him/her?
    • Listen - Do I know what is going on in ________________ life, work, mind, heart, soul?
    • Discern - Have I sensed "go, slow, or stop" in regard to conversations, actions with _________________?
    • Respond - Have I given of my resources to _______________: TIME, materials, prayers, help?
  7. To help us recognize that God is the one putting together "the salvation puzzles" of people's lives, give each CG member a paper with blank puzzle pieces:
    1. Ask them to choose a person in their life that they have been praying for and connecting with.  Write that person's name on the paper.
    2. Now have them write in the blank puzzle pieces the ways they see that God has been working in that person's life.  Take these papers home and continue to write in the pieces the ways God works over time.
    3. As a group, pray over these "puzzles" and thank God for His kindness that is drawing these people to repentance.
    4. Also pray that God will reveal to CG members any ways that they can be a part of putting more "puzzle pieces" into place for this person to receive Christ as their Savior.
  8. Practice the 3 "Gospel drawings" (the bridge, the ladder, and DO/DONE so that group members are prepared to speak of the Gospel as opportunities present themselves and people are ready to hear.
  9. Support one or more Connection Group (CG) members in hosting a "Matthew party".  Pray for people invited, help with preps, and possibly include a few CG members in event.
  10. Invest in a one-time outreach opportunity that meets a need of neighbors or community.
  11. Commit to an on-going outreach opportunity for neighbors or community that springs from a passion of your group or several members of your group.
  12. Join with one or more other Connection Groups to serve in a "cluster event" to bring the Gospel in the community. 

 

Fellowship

  1. Make time to get to know one another (meals, attend sports events of kids in group or favorite teams, help with home or yard projects, go to a concert or community event, etc.).
  2. Meet REGULARLY with commitment and investment - 2x a month is suggested.
  3. Use the "Question Coasters" to grow intimacy in knowing one another. 

 

Discipleship (Goal = Transformation)

  1. Take a Spiritual Health Assessment.
  2. Make a Spiritual Health Plan (have some "next steps").
  3. Find a Spiritual Health (Accountability) Partner.
  4. Complete a Spiritual Gifts Assessment.
  5. To help CG members explore or verify their spiritual gifts or "heartburn"… complete this activity.  Give each member a card or paper with all group members' names.  Write down after each name a spiritual gift, or heart-passion, that you see in that person.  When all are finished, give each person another card or sheet to record their personal feedback that others have recorded.  Allow time for mingling and sharing until each person has received and written a list of feedback from all other group members.  Thank God for His work in, among, and through your group!
  6. Fill out personal S.H.A.P.E. profiles and ask CG members to share portions of it over several meetings.
  7. Encourage/Help each CG member to write his/her own personal faith testimony.  Even children and youth can do this!  Practice sharing testimonies among the CG.
  8. Share answers to the questions on the CG coaster.
  9. Memorize and practice together key Scripture verses (especially the ones on the 5-colors wristband) that will help extend the Gospel.
  10. USE the prayer journal in the "Sword of the Spirit" box.  Write requests AND answers!
  11. Store records of God's faithfulness in the "Sword of the Spirit" box - notes, photos, mementos of times when God is working among you.
  12. With the Spirit's guidance, invest in mentoring another Christian to support and enhance his/her spiritual maturity. 

 

Worship

  1. Start or end your CG time with a short scripture reading followed by an open prayer as the Spirit leads people to pray.
  2. Start or end your CG time with a "String of Beads" prayer.  Leader suggests a single word of phrase that ties in with topic, such as "harvest".  Members of CG respond with a single word or phrase that comes to their mind in response to that prompt.  Examples might be… "abundance", "gratitude", "not-yet saved", "patience", "provision", "workers", "seasons", etc.
  3. Rather than the CG host or leader opening with a prayer, ask if another group member is willing to open with a brief prayer.  Praying out loud in front of others is an important disciple skill.
  4. Sing an opening or closing song with a Youtube accompaniment.
  5. Sing an opening or closing song with instrumental accompaniment (guitar, keyboard, piano, recorder, etc.)
  6. Show an image (can be a framed work of art, an original work of art, or something displayed on computer/TV), and ask group members to pray as Spirit leads from promptings of thoughts connected to image.
  7. Read a Psalm responsively as a group for an opening or closing. It can be read responsively with leader and group, responsively as men and women or different age groups, or simply taking turns with different readers verse by verse.  Speaking the Word out loud brings extra oomph!  :)
  8. As a group, "rewrite" one of the Psalms in your own words so that it fits in our current cultural experiences and vernacular.
  9. Give each member a small ball of play-doh and ask him/her to mold something depicting how they saw God working during the past week.  Share!
  10. Provide a tray of miscellaneous items from around your home.  Have each Connection Group member share how one of the items relates to their faith and how God is stretching/changing them.  Praise God for His power in our lives!
  11. Share details from the lives of "heroes" of the faith… choose people from Scripture, from history, from daily life.  Thank God for the work He did in and through these people, and for the work He is doing in and through each member of your group.
  12. As a group, make a banner or mural that depicts the unique passions, people and purposes of your group. 

 

Ministry

  1. Provide meals and home help when needs arise.
  2. Provide transportation and/or child care when needs arise.
  3. Provide help with repairs or improvement projects as needs arise.
  4. Provide lawn and yard work when needs arise.
  5. Pray for each other and check back to see how God is answering.
  6. Invest in each other's children.
  7. Connect with each other's relatives.
  8. Choose a "2:00 am Buddy".
  9. Live Matthew 18:15-18 (authenticity, transparency, repentance, forgiveness).
  10. Learn to listen well to encourage and build up one another.
  11. Share celebrations and sorrows.
  12. Keep in touch with one another when absent or apart for extended time. 

 

Resources

  1. That the World May Know - Ray Vander Laan & Focus on the Family
  2. Life's Ultimate Privilege by DeVern Fromke
  3. Building Trust in your Group/Listening & Encouraging & Supporting - Dave Ping (presented a workshop at Emmanuel)
  4. Just Walk Across the Room - Bill Hybels
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Web Master

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