Small Groups at Zion
At Zion, our vision is to see every individual connected, growing, serving, and going. Small Groups are a key means by which believers connect with God and with each other. So, connecting becomes the key purpose of Small Groups at Zion.
In our modern culture, small groups are often viewed merely as a program or a fellowship ministry within the church. But for the New Testament church, it was a way of life. Their relationships with one another were critical to their pursuit of Jesus, their growth in Christ, their service to one another, and their witness to the Good News. It would be impossible to experience biblical community apart from spiritually significant, intentional relationships with other believers. Relational structures like small groups, therefore, are an integral part of 'being' the church,
Small Groups Vision
Group members will become disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ who ultimately make disciples.
Small Groups Mission
To lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ by creating an environment where they can explore faith and experience community.
Small Groups "Win"
Authentic Community. Members and potential members coming together in a welcoming environment to forge community.
While there is no set design for a small group meeting, there should be some predictable elements in every meeting. New group members should be able to expect certain things in every small group meeting.
Group convenes, and food is served (if food is a part of your group meeting time)
Intentional recognition and welcome of new attendees.
Worship Moments include prayer and can include singing (if led)
Celebrate group "wins" or testimonies/praise reports since the last meeting
There is sharing from the group curriculum. Facilitator(s) begin the discussion, then they both encourage and allow other group members to share. Over time, others in the group should be allowed to begin and facilitate discussions. This is a key element in the multiplication of groups! Note that a small group is not a Bible Study. It is an open discussion in which everyone participates.
Group Member Expectations
In a small group, we expect our group members to:
You can't form the kind of deep relationships that support and encourage growth if you aren't intentional about devoting time to the group on a regular basis. There are legitimate reasons to miss a group meeting. Everyone gets sick. Everyone has emergencies. But it's important to prioritize group over other distractions if you want to grow.
Group members have more opportunities for growth when they feel ownership of the group. That means participating in the weekly discussions and taking responsibility for some tasks that have to be done for a group to thrive. Leading a discussion, preparing snacks, leading prayer times, and planning fellowships and service projects provide great opportunities to serve the other members of the group and possibly to step outside of your comfort zone.
Let the members of your group know who you are . . . who you really are and what's really going on in your life. Knowing others and allowing yourself to be known supports the kind of accountability, belonging, care, and commitment that groups can provide. And those four characteristics of great group experiences give you a level of freedom that leads to spiritual growth.