Recently as I've been learning and growing spiritually, both personally and as a leader, it struck me that we have very few outlets to actually develop leaders at Missio Dei church. We've been around for 4 years this November, and we have yet to implement any leadership development outlets at our church. I see that as a problem, and we elders are unified about this. However, I am excited about what the future holds in this regard.
Let me tell you about step 1, and then I'll tell you why I'm excited about the future as well.
Community Group Facilitators
The first step is to roll out a new structure to Community Groups at MD, and to create a role in which those men and women who desire to grow and lead can learn how to do so in our local context. Enter: CG Facilitators. Now, you're CG may have had facilitators in the past, but the new CG Facilitator role has a new purpose and functions within the new structure of CG .
- Prayer Requests
- Discussion Questions
These 5 things provide a more structured midweek meeting, but they can also be rearranged and contextualized depending on the needs of the group. Let's go one by one and explain what will happen in each step, how the CG Facilitator role fits in, and what leadership lessons will be learned with each section.
The first section is dedicated to the Word of God. The facilitator will need to come to CG prepared to share something they have been reading and learning in Scripture with the rest of the Community Group. This has several purposes. First, it keeps the facilitator in the Word and actively engaged with it. This step is a crucial leadership lesson. Second, it provides an additional opportunity for the group to glean lessons from Scripture and engage and apply the lessons to their life in the context of accountability. Third, it keeps Scripture as a central focus for our Christian thought.
Next, the facilitator will share an article or reading they found helpful throughout the week. Perhaps the article pertains to Christian living, or then again maybe it addresses a current event or cultural topic. There's great leeway in this for the facilitator to get creative and drum up something helpful and useful. This will help the facilitator learn to engage with the content that goes into their eyes and ears on a weekly basis. It will also help them understand how to read a group of people and select content for where those people are at. It also provides another opportunity for the group to engage and learn from relevant context. Just think, if nothing else changed, and a member attends Missio Dei for 30 years, they will have had the opportunity to learn and grow from others at a minimum of almost 5,000 separate occasions! Fantastic!
One of the core ideas behind our Community Groups is that we grow closer to one another as a family, and prayer requests are a great first place to start. It requires the sharer to be open and transparent about the joys and struggles of their life, and it requires the hearers to provide loving prayer and accountability for the sharer. Truly the church at work! The facilitator is active and engaged with the prayer requests and directs the time to be fruitful and on track.
Traditionally the main event at CG. However, before the #askmdnj questions, the facilitator will lead a time of recap. This means the facilitator will have had to meaningfully engaged with the sermon on Sunday, as well as be able to communicate the main themes and points across to the group as a refresher. Each member has this responsibility, technically, but this will help the facilitator learn how to stay engaged at all times, as well as provide a small opportunity to "teach back" the content to the rest of the group.
After recap, the facilitator will then need to facilitate. They will lead the discussion surrounding the questions, guide each question to a close, and begin again with the next question. Facilitating meaningful discussion is difficult, however this will be a vital skill in both disciple-making and leading other small groups in the future. Once the discussion is over, the facilitator closes the night out.
As I mentioned earlier, we're excited to get this ball rolling, as well as to offer additional opportunities to foster leaders in the future. Our new Town Square will be a public space bustling with activity. I'm fully confident that we will be able to leverage that space as a space for public teaching next year. It can be our own little incubator for leaders to learn and grow in teaching.
We also have several in house opportunities being developed that will be a great outlet to learn the skills of leadership, so stay tuned!
If you're interested in becoming a CG Facilitator, please reach out to John or Justin at Wednesday CG or Nathan or myself (Jesse) at Thursday CG to pick which days you'll try this out!
Thanks, God bless.