SMALL GROUPS MINISTRY
Can you imagine experiencing a life in Christ filled with passion, meaning and purpose - a life that not only blesses you, but benefits your brothers and sisters in Christ?
Church family, the Lord created us to experience Him and life together. As the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are in fellowship or relational community with each other, so are we to be in kinship with one another. We grow as Christians when life touches life in very practical ways with the application of God’s Word.
Christ is so serious about relational connectedness that our vertical experience with Him depends on the level at which we experience each other horizontally. And the “one anothers” of Scripture teach us how we are to experience God and life together. I was so glad that my small group was there during my time of crisis. It made all the difference.It is our desire for every member to know Christ better, experience Him deeper and love Him more. And, in the same way, members form caring, accountable, and growing relationships with each other guided by the Word of God.
GSDAC small groups are designed to give members a personal and relational experience with the Person of Christ and with each other in the context of community and accountability. We encourage YOU to become involved in a small group to not only grow as a disciple, but to be a disciple.
HOW WE SERVE:
Small Group Ministries seeks to build community in the body of believers and extend that community to friends and neighbors. We provide hands-on-training events to aid local church members to begin and successfully run small groups in their church or home.OUR MISSIONGrowing communities that reach out to communities.
What is Small Group Ministry?
Small groups meet twice a month for a specified number of sessions (10 sessions, January through May) in a topic-driven conversation. It is an opportunity to connect more closely with others in our growing church. We wish to explore our values and ideas of spirituality in an intimate setting, to get to know each other, and to make a difference together through a service project for the church or the larger community. In these ways we learn to minister to each other and our church.
A Small Group Ministry is not a study group, a committee, a therapy group, a debate society, a discussion group, or an affinity group based on a specific area of interest. Its purpose is not to solve a problem.
How do I Join A Small Group Ministry?
Sign up by speaking with one of our church elders after church services; sign up times will be announced. For church year 2014 registration dates are Saturday, May 03 through Saturday, May 10, 2014. You may also get a registration form by calling our church office at 847-623-7770 or email us HERE.
For church year 2013-2014 the SGM groups will meet for 2 hours twice a month from MAY 23, 2014 through NOV 2014, for a total of 12 sessions.
Themes and topics:
The overall theme for 2014 Milestones of Life. Topics of the individual sessions will relate to this theme, and may include milestones related to: religious/spiritual; family; learning; physical and health; resources; joy; grief and loss; giving and receiving; moving on.
Topics of discussion are not ends in themselves, but rather a means to the goal of getting to know each other. As each person speaks their own truth, and as each person listens to another’s truth, their connections deepen. This spiritual and social connection, by which we measure our sense of belonging, is the purpose of the SGM Program.
SGM nuts and bolts:
Group size is 6-10 people.
SGMs are open to all members and friends of the church.
SGMs meet for 2 hours twice a month for a specified number of sessions.
Facilitators are trained to lead in an environment of open exchange and kindness.
The covenant may include elements such as agreements of respect and privacy, attendance, time-keeping, how we treat one another.
Each group does a service project for the church or the larger community.Meeting format
Opening: Each meeting will start with a relevant reading.
Check-in: Each person is asked to share how s/he is feeling.
Meeting theme: Readings, questions, and sharing with one another about how the topic relates to each person’s individual journey.
Likes and wishes/check-out: Each person shares a word orphrase on how s/he is now feeling.
Closing: Reading, poem or song.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are Small Group Ministries unique to our church?
Small Group Ministry Programs are thriving all across the country in our denomination. They have been hugely successful in creating a true sense of community in churches, especially congregations whose size has grown to the point where it is difficult to know everyone by Sunday morning attendance alone.
Why is it named Small Group Ministry?
Group size is limited to enhance the opportunity for personal sharing and the development of friendships. As we grow in the depth of our connections to each other, we are better able to lend care and support to each other. We learn to “minister” to each other. Each group also provides a service project to the church or the wider community to provide help where needed, broaden our ministry, and enhance our lives by providing deeper meaning and a sense of gratitude toward each other.
What needs are met by Small Group Ministry not met in other social groups?
Develop and articulate our personal beliefs, share our exploration of spiritual questions and personal experience, listen in an environment of trust and intimacy
To answer a yearning to explore what it means to be human in relation to the universe, to find meaning in existence• Meet new people and friends that develop deep and lasting connections
Feel a sense of belonging to the larger church community through a mutually experienced conversation
Give meaning and joy to our lives as we participate in service to our community
Participate in a denomination-wide movement
How is the SGM Program organized at Gurnee SDA Church?
The Program is directed by a steering committee working closely with the Minister. Together they select and train facilitators and select church-wide topics for discussion.