FAQ’s for groups
Connected people grow, so we would love to see everyone who calls Worship Center their home church in a Group. Here’s some of the Frequently Asked Questions about Groups.
WHAT TYPES OF GROUPS ARE OFFERED AT WORSHIP CENTER?
There are two types of Groups where people can connect and grow:
Small Groups: These message-based discussion Groups focus on the series topic as members share and do life together. Connected people grow and Small Groups are our best practice for biblical community.
Focus Groups: These Groups meet people where they are at in certain stages of life. They meet for a season and then are offered a transition to a Small Group. We offer a variety of Focus Groups, such as Support & Recovery Groups, Marriage & Family Groups, and Equip Classes.
WHAT ARE ‘MESSAGED-BASED’ GROUPS?
Small Groups spend a portion of time discussing the content of the message presented in the service. We believe discussion leads to discovery, discovery highlights decisions, and decisions determine destiny.
WHY ARE MESSAGE-BASED SMALL GROUPS OUR BEST PRACTICE FOR BIBLICAL COMMUNITY?
Message-based discussion Groups offer spiritual growth based on these three values:
Personal Engagement: Discerning how to apply God’s Word in our lives is a life-long journey that happens best through discussion. Each week’s message has “Consider” questions that lead to the “Activate” question offering personal application from the message. Going through the “Activate” question forwards the discussion and leads to transformation (James 1:22-25).
Corporate Unity: Intentionally honoring the series topic discerned by leadership means we are all talking about and walking out the implications of the current series. This unified focus keeps us all on the same page while allowing the Holy Spirit to direct each group’s conversation (John 17:23).
Connected Belonging: Intentionally connecting in smaller groups is where we find our place to belong. Doing life together keeps us from isolation and builds healthy relationships. Connecting in groups is where we live out the 4 Cs (Matthew 18:20).
- Connect: Building authentic, committed relationships, and creating a “home” environment for the group.
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).
- Care: Carrying and sharing the needs of the individuals in all areas of their life: body, spirit, soul, and mind.
“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God” (1 John 3:18-19)
- Challenge to Grow: Walking with people as they grow in their relationship with Jesus.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).
- Celebrate: Providing a place for people to celebrate the joys of life together.
“Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).
WHY DOES WORSHIP CENTER PROMOTE MESSAGE-BASED GROUPS RATHER THAN DVD OR BOOK STUDIES?
The core of what happens in Groups is that participants connect, care, challenge each other to grow, and celebrate one another (the 4 Cs of groups). The discussion content is the primary vehicle for that journey.
There are multiple benefits of the message-based Group system:
- The message-based Group system allows our pastors to provide questions and reflections on the messages for group discussion. It also gives them an opportunity to regularly present what Groups are doing collectively during service times.
- The message-based system allows Groups who choose to meet seasonally to start and stop on the same schedule. This schedule provides multiple, consistent sign-up opportunities, as well as offering a way for people who would like to switch Groups.
- In the message-based system, Groups are a part of what the Holy Spirit is doing in and through Worship Center. Our pastors listen to what the Holy Spirit lays on their hearts and prepare messages that bring wisdom and growth to our congregation. Message-based Groups discuss and activate those messages, applying them as our faith intersects real life.
WHAT ARE OTHER BENEFITS OF MESSAGE-BASED DISCUSSION GROUPS?
— Groups can multiply more easily since all Groups are processing the message in the same way.
— Groups are our best practice for biblical community.
— Team Leaders can focus on developing Group Leaders who can multiply groups easily.
WILL WE EVER TALK ABOUT SUBJECTS NOT COVERED IN A MESSAGE SERIES?
(parenting, marriage, dating, evangelism, healing, serving, etc.)
Yes. While Group content centers on the Sunday service message, the intent for the Group is to talk about how it applies in life. This provides great opportunities to apply biblical principles to our marriages, parenting, budgets, dating, etc.
WHAT IS THE GROUP LEADER’S TIME COMMITMENT?
A Group Leader’s commitment may be different for all depending on how often they meet and what they offer. Group Leaders dedicate time to pray for their environments and members. They might take time to prep their homes to host and provide or organize food for the night. Group Leaders do not have to prepare studies because they are message-based, and the Group outline is prepped for them by the Groups Ministry Team. For more, see the answer to “How do the discussion questions guide our Group Leaders?”.
HOW DO THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS GUIDE GROUP LEADERS?
The discussion questions have prompts to guide Group Leaders. This helps us care well for our Leaders and their prep time so that they can focus on shepherding their Groups well with the 4 Cs. The message notes, coupled with the discussion questions, allow our Leaders to embrace and partner with the ministry as we journey and encourage each other by applying God word from the message in our lives.
HOW DO WE GET MESSAGED-BASED MATERIAL?
Discussion questions are printed on the back of the sermon notes available at every entrance to the auditorium.
They are also attached to the message notes on the Worship Center App, and available with the message online.
CAN MESSAGE-BASED GROUPS WORK FOR PEOPLE WHO DO NOT ATTEND A SERVICE?
They can. Group members can watch or listen to the message prior to group if they miss a message, or the discussion questions usually work without even watching the message.
DO WE OFFER GROUPS IN SPANISH? OFRECEMOS GRUPOS EN ESPANOL?
Yes. We offer community groups and Inner Healing Classes in Spanish
Si. Ofrecemos grupos de comunidad y classes de Sanidad Interior en Español.
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FOCUS GROUPS?
Current Focus Groups can be found at worshipcenter.org/groups, or by stopping in at Connections. For the most part, these Groups run in seasons, but offer a “Save your seat” option to register for the next season.
HOW DO PEOPLE JOIN A GROUP?
There are several ways for people to join a Group. The most common is just prior to a Groups season when new Groups are open to be filled, and existing Groups list their openings for additional members. Two or three weekends before each Groups season starts, interested people can sign up for Groups online using the Group Finder, in person on a weekend, or by contacting the church (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Some Groups remain open to new members throughout the year and are also listed on the Group Finder. Other Groups launch from people in Focus Groups that have built relationships during the season.
And finally, interested parties can launch their own full Community Group after training with the Community Groups Pastor.
Going through our Count Me In class and volunteering are great ways to meet other people who might be looking for Groups!
HWHY DO WE KEEP GROUPS AT 8-10 PARTICIPANTS?
We have a few reasons why we try to keep Groups within a reasonable number. It allows the opportunity for all to share and participate. It also helps provide a safe place where people can share in a small setting. In addition, it is easier for the Leader to shepherd their Group members well with the 4C’s (Connect, Care, Challenge to Grow, and Celebrate).
HOW LONG DO GROUPS STAY TOGETHER?
Each season, individuals have the opportunity to remain in their existing Group or try out a different one. Each year, Groups will be asked to discern if they should continue as they are, multiply into two or more Groups, or morph in some other way.
WHEN ARE THE GROUPS SEASONS?
In the Fall the Groups season starts in mid-September and goes through the week before Thanksgiving. Then the next season starts in late January and goes until the week before Memorial Day.
HOW OFTEN DO GROUPS USUALLY MEET?
Most Groups meet weekly during the season; however some Groups meet bi-weekly and/or year-round. The Group Finder descriptions define each Group’s meeting rhythm.
WHERE DO SMALL GROUPS MEET?
Most Groups meet in homes around the county, and some meet in public locations like a café or coffee shop. Group Leaders may choose to host in their own home, have a host home, or take turns hosting.
DO GROUPS USUALLY EAT TOGETHER?
Some do and some don’t! Some have a meal, most probably just have snacks. Group Leaders can decide for their group!
DO GROUPS MEET ONLINE?
Some do! Group Leaders can utilize online options such as Zoom, Facebook Groups, Skype, etc. Groups also have the option to have a hybrid Group, which meets both online and in person.
WHY ARE THERE QUESTIONS AVAILABLE IN BETWEEN THE GROUPS SEASONS?
Questions are available in between seasons for these three reasons:
— Couples, families, or other smaller Groups often do the questions together even though they may not be in a Small Group together. (Please connect your group of 3 or more to our Groups Department for support & resources! Email your information to email@example.com).
— Individuals can use the questions devotionally to connect their Group worship experience with their weekday life.
— Some Groups meet year-round.
WHAT IF SOMEONE WANTS TO TRY A DIFFERENT GROUP?
People sometimes try different groups before they find one with the “right fit”. If someone wants a switch within the first 2 weeks of a Group season starting and there is another Group that they are interested in, we can easily make that change.
WHAT DOES GROUP LEADER TRAINING LOOK LIKE?
New Group Leaders will be instructed in the basics of facilitating discussion questions, and Group Leader training is then ongoing. Every Group Leader is encouraged to go through Coach Training.
WHAT IS COACHING?
Coaching is a culture of honoring free will and trusting that the Holy Spirit wants a relationship with each individual. In the Coaching Culture class, leaders learn to help people move forward by asking them empowering questions rather than feeling they should tell others what they should do with their lives.
Coaching helps people move from where they are to where God is leading them through active listening, support, encouragement, and accountability. Coaching is another word for Biblical Discipleship.
WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT WILL GROUP LEADERS HAVE?
Group Leaders will be assigned a Groups Team Leader, who they can check-in with if they have any additional questions or concerns. Team Leaders will regularly check in with their Group Leaders, but are also available for questions or to talk through concerns as needed.
WHAT COMMUNICATION GOES OUT TO GROUP LEADERS?
Group Leaders will have monthly connections with their Team Leaders, either in person or via email/phone.
HOW ARE THE GROUP’S DESCRIPTORS CHOSEN?
Each Group Leader is given choices about the affinities their group wants to include. The choices include age specific or age inclusive; mixed gender or single gender; married, single or mixed; and whether or not childcare is provided. We want to offer a variety of options as much as people are looking for options in their Groups.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BUILD A GROUP?
A Group Leader can launch a Group of their own choosing. This Group could include friends, family, fellow volunteers, or people they met in a Focus Group. These Groups can choose to meet seasonally, weekly, biweekly, or even monthly. The difference is that these Groups will be filled by the Leader, and not listed on the Group Finder for others to join.