God’s City. My City InformationHere is the basic information on the program.DurationThe program is six weeks.Components:GCMC has three components:1. Six small group lessons- each participating member will receive a book with them.Love the city.Pray for the city.Engage the city.Serve the city.Invite the city.Transform the city.2. 40 Day Prayer and Sharing- It’s included in the book that has the lessons.3. Sermon Series- With the same six titles as the small group, to be developed by the pastor.We would love to have your manuscripts/power points/etc. after you preach it, to share withpastors and leaders across the NAD.Implementation1. The church in their small groups (or whatever format you chose), will study the small grouplessons for six consecutive weeks. They are:Love the city.Pray for the city.Engage the city.Serve the city.Invite the city.Transform the city.2. Sermon series- with the same titles, but developed by the local church pastor, preachedconcurrently with the small group series.3. 40 Day Prayer and Sharing Booklet. Every member that participates, will get one, whereeveryday he will do three things:A memory verse to ground him/her in God’s word.Applications to teach him/her God’s word.A practical assignment to put into action God’s word in his/her life.Most 40 day prayer journals are strong in the spiritual disciplines, but short on ACTIVATING themembers.The ideal way for this to happen, is to start 6 weeks before an evangelistic event, so that whenit happens the church is prepared.
God’s City. My City Small Group Training ManualYou have in your hands a training manual, on how to successfully implement the small groupcomponent of God’s City-My City. The booklet is divided into three parts: 1. Before the Lesson A. Plan B. Prepare C. Pray 2. During the Lesson A. Review the Schedule B. Review the Lesson 3. After the Lesson A. Responsibilities B. Reminders C. Prayer D. Reporting E. EvaluatingIf you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve the material, please let me know:firstname.lastname@example.org
Before the LessonA. PlanThe old adage of “if you fail to plan you plan to fail” applies to small groups. Excellence doesn’thappen on its own. While planning doesn’t guarantee success, there are some specific thingsyou can do to make sure you increase your possibilities of a successful meeting. Here are somemust do’s in respect to planning. Basic Information: This may seem elementary, but you’d be surprised how carelessness, delay or erroneous information can lead to an unsuccessful meeting. Remember to establish, well in advance, and be very clear about, all of the following information concerning your meeting: Date & time of meeting Complete address where meeting will be held Contact person for more information (more than one is preferred) Invitation: In order to have effective invitations there are some factors you must consider. Familiarize yourself with following basic information about GCMC. 1. What is it about? God’s City. My City is a six week, small group based, practical guide to effectively reach our communities for Jesus. In addition, there is a personal prayer and sharing component to be done individually. 2. What is expected of me? Attendance, involvement and willingness to be used by God. You will be challenged to go outside your comfort zone. Expect to use your faith in the next six weeks. 3. What’s in it for me? Your love for God’s people that are far from Him will grow, your personal experience with God will deepen, and your outreach skills will be sharpened, all while impacting your community in a real way. Team: While everybody that attends the small group is important the leadership team is key. Here is a short description of a few important positions that are suggested (this can be adapted to the local church/small group needs and context) Group Leader: This person holds the primary responsibility to make sure everything runs smoothly. They usually teach the lesson although it is encouraged for others who also have that gift to contribute in this area as well. They work closely in communication with all the other group members. They should also fill out the contact information and attendance form to help them keep track of their members. (see appendix 1) Associate Leader: Shares teaching responsibilities. Should be prepared to cover any area as needed.
Host:This is the person who is responsible for the meeting space. (home/apartment/community center/etc.) They are in charge of making sure that it’s adequate, clean, and comfortable. Some people might be wondering whether food is a required component of a small group meeting. The answer is…it depends. If it works for your setting do it. If it doesn’t, skip it. Simple as that. Hospitality: This person is responsible for creating a warm, welcoming environment throughout the small group meeting. Communication: This function could be done by the leader or it can be delegated to a group member. Their basic responsibility is to get information to the group members about the upcoming meetings and/or events. They are also responsible to fill out the meeting report and turn it in. Child Care: Although childcare can be an incentive to attend it may not always be possible to provide. Please make sure to announce whether you will be providing it, so that expectations are clear. If you choose to provide this service, we suggest that the children remain with the adults all during the program until the time of the lesson. Childcare must be provided by no less than two people at any given time. North American Division policy states that anyone working with children is required to have an approved background check on file. Covenant: See appendix 2. This document shares some basic guidelines for group life, clarifies expectations and provides accountability.B. PrepareIn this section I’d like to highlight some of the steps the small group leader/teacher needs totake in order to effectively present the weekly lesson. Teaching is a skill. We have all sat underteachers that inspired and engaged us, as well as teachers that bored us and seemed verydisconnected. The lessons are prepared in a way that makes them easier to present, prepareand/or adapt, but the content will not make up for lack of focus or preparation. First thing’s First: Make sure everybody has enough materials and writing utensils, that there is adequate lighting, and bibles for any that need one. Many of the bible texts are already in the lesson but some are not. Please use a version people understand. Suggested Program: We’ll discuss this point in much greater detail in the next section, but here is a suggested program that you can follow. 1. Connecting with each other (10 min.) Ice Breaker (see appendix #3) 2. Connecting with God (10 min.) Praises: Petitions:
3. Connecting with the Word (40 min.) See Lesson 4. Fellowship (Open Ended) Remember to always a. Look them in the eyes. b. Learn all you can by listening. c. Love them unconditionally. d. Let them know when the next meeting is. Study of the Lesson: It goes without saying that the teacher should go through the lesson at least a couple times before they present it. Study the lesson and make it yours. Insert illustrations, add bible passages, and develop concepts further. You might not be the greatest teacher in the world but there’s no excuse for lacking passion or unpreparedness. If you’re excited and prepared you’ll more than likely be effective. Watch lesson Presentations on YouTube: As an added resource Pr. Roger Hernandezhas recorded and posted himself presenting all six lessons for you to watchhere:http://www.youtube.com/user/pastorrogerhernandez?feature=resultsThe purpose ofthese recordings is not for you to parrot what he says but for you to get a sense of the meaningbehind every lesson and highlight the main points. Since there is no discussion in the videosthey will take between no more than 10 minutes versus the 40 minutes suggested for theregular group discussion.C. PrayNothing happens if you only pray, but nothing happens until you pray. Prayer is not thepreparation for the battle. Prayer is the battle. Every great revival, every great movement ofGod in the church from its inception until today, has one great thing in common…prayer. Let’stake a look at some important characteristics of intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer isbasically talking to God about other people before you talk to other people about God. Characteristics of prayer: In order for intercessory prayer to be effective it must have three basic characteristics. 1. Specific—the reason specific prayers are valuable is that you can tell after you’ve prayed whether God answered or not. For example, instead of praying for God to touch your neighbors heart, why not ask God to move in your neighbor’s life in such a way that when you invite them to join your small group they will come. 2. Persistent—there are some prayers that will get answered immediately. Others take time. Yet others take a lifetime. The intensity of our prayers should not depend on the promptness of God’s response. We pray until God answers. 3. According to God’s Will – The Bible states that it’s God’s desire for everybody to be saved. Based on clear biblical understanding we can safely and assuredly say
that when we intercede for others God listens and acts on our behalf. We might not always see immediate results, but we have full assurance that God is working. The Leaders Prayer List: The table below provides a simple guide to enhance your intercessory prayer experience. Do this and after a while review it and you’ll be amazed to see how God worked time after time in the lives of people. (appendix 4) Name Need Date Declaration AnswerRoger Find a job 7/12/12 By faith I see this 8/6/12 God person finding provided Roger suitable with a new job employment in a close to home. timely fashion Different People To Pray For: There are three types of people that you want to pray for 1. People that come so that they can keep growing 2. People that used to come so that they can resume their growth. 3. People that have never come so that they can start growing.* *The Empty Chair – At every meeting leave one chair empty and pray that God will fill it the next time you meet with someone that was not there that day.
During the LessonThe day’s finally here. The time has arrived. You have prayed, planned and prepared and thepeople are present. During this section you will understand some basic principles on how torun effective meetings. Your goal should be to have people leave after it’s over saying, “I willbe back”.A. Review the ScheduleBy now you should have reviewed the suggested schedule. Here are some tips to make eachsection interesting. A. Connecting with each other (10 min.) A simple ice breaker (a get to know you better activity) is provided for you (see appendix 4). The purpose of this section is to help the members feel relaxed and comfortable with each other in a non-threatening environment. Feel free to adapt the suggested ice breaker to fit your group’s needs. But please don’t overlook or underestimate the importance of this exercise. People come to the group from all kinds of circumstances and situations. Life can be hectic, even painful sometimes. I compare the people who show up to the small group meeting to a runner who has just finished a 100 meter race. That’s how your group members come in the door. This exercise serves as a tool for them to catch their breath. They need to know, “it’s OK, we’re among family now”. B. Connecting with God (10 min.) This section is comprised of two components. Expressing prayer requests and thankfulness and taking some time to pray. Remember to write in the page provided for you the prayer requests that people make so that you can pray for them specifically at the appropriate moment. C. Connecting with the Word (40 min.) This section of the small group meeting is when you study the lesson provided in the book. Each lesson is divided into four parts. We will go into more detail later on in this section about each part of the lesson. It’s important to remember that the person in charge of giving the lesson should see themself as a facilitator more than an actual teacher. Your job is to get the group talking, reading, asking questions, sharing, commenting, etc… It is less beneficial if you do all the talking. Don’t be afraid of the silence. If no one responds immediately after you ask a question, rephrase it, but don’t be too quick to answer your own questions. One last thing to remember, it’s better for the group members to go home wishing the lesson was longer instead of feeling overwhelmed by the length of it. Keep it short.
C. Fellowship (Open Ended) Now you may be wondering why we even put this section in the schedule. Isn’t the meeting over after the last prayer? The answer is no. One common mistake that groups make is to forget to connect intentionally with new people after the last prayer. It’s a golden opportunity to, in a nonthreatening way, acquire some valuable information that you can use to minister to the members of your group. Important ministry happens during this time. Don’t pass up the opportunity.D. Review the Lesson Each lesson is composed of five sections. They are listed below. 1. C= Capture 2. I= Inspire 3. T= Transform 4. I= Involve 5. E=Engage Take the time to review the purpose behind each section. Capture Every lesson starts with a key portion of scripture. The reason for that is that we want scripture to be foundational in our study. Don’t overlook this section. You can read it yourself or as a group member to do so. If you notice most of the key passages that start the lesson have to do with the city of Jerusalem. Lesson 1 starts with Jesus longing to save Jerusalem, and the last lesson ends with the victorious saints living in the new Jerusalem. Inspire Immediately following scripture there is a key quote from the writings of Ellen White. Ellen White had a lot to stay about effective ministry for and to the cities. The quotes that are included are just a sample of the gems she wrote on the topic. I encourage you to look for the new book Ministry to the Cities by Ellen G. White, published by the Review & Herald Publishing Association, Hagerstown, Maryland. Copies can be obtained from www.adventistbookcenter.com/ or local bookstores. It also has many quotes that are beneficial. Here again is another opportunity for another of the group members to read the quotes, thus making the group experience more participatory. Transform This section is the one you will focus most of your time on. There are facts to be shared. Questions to be answered. Bible texts to be looked up. Opinions to be expressed. We want to make it as practical and relevant as possible. One of the secrets of a good facilitator is his ability to ask questions. So feel free to expand or adapt on the provided questions. Here are four short, key principles on being a good facilitator. 1. When you ask the question and are receiving an answer, make sure you are looking at the person who is responding and resist the urge to look down at your notes. 2. Send positive messages with your posture. Don’t…fold your arms, look away, or slouch in your chair.
3. When somebody responds incorrectly to a question that was asked be very sensitive and careful on how you respond to that person. Start your response to their response with the following…”Thank you for your answer.” 4. As a facilitator it’s your job to keep things moving along and not let one person monopolize the conversation. If you find yourself in this situation one way to diffuse the problem is to ask a question directly to someone else. Involve This section contains practical applications. It brings the biblical knowledge to a real life level. There are also questions in this section, that are integrated with the purpose of fostering more dialogue among the members of the group. Engage The primary purpose of these lessons is not just to give you knowledge about the needs of the city but to move you into action to meet the needs of the city. Every lesson has an action step. It is not only important to encourage your group members to fulfill the challenge during the week but also remember to ask them in the next meeting how it went.
After the LessonThe lesson is over. The house is cleaned up. The people have left. What now? What happensduring the two hours that you are together is as important as the 6 days and 22 hours that youare not. A good leader looks for opportunities to connect, minister, and reach out to the groupmembers during the week. A phone call, text message, Facebook post, even a visit are someways you can do that. You can choose to do this yourself or delegate it to a responsiblemember of your group who’s assigned specifically to fulfill this responsibility. Here are somebasic follow-up tasks.A. Remind team members of their responsibilitiesYou can do that during your time together and reinforce it with an email or other means ofcommunication early in the week.B. Remind attendees when next meeting isThis is probably self-explanatory but it becomes extremely important to notify your groupmembers well in advance if the location, time, or day of the meeting changes for any reason.Since people have different ways of communicating, one size might not fit all (email, texting,calling) so it’s important for you as the leader to be aware of this.C. Pray for the groupWe’ve already talked about this but just want to remind you that this is where the prayerrequest sheet comes in handy. You can share a copy of these prayer requests to the groupmembers. Remember as prayers go up, the blessing come down.D. Call those who were absentOne of the most common complaints of people who have left the church is that when they stopattending nobody noticed. When you reach out to somebody that missed your meeting you aresending a clear message to them that they are valuable. You might also discover the reasonthey missed and along with the group be able to help them.E. Send report to leader (appendix 5)Reporting might not be your favorite thing to do but it is a good way to evaluate the strengthand health of the group. Your pastor might or might not ask you for it but even he doesn’t it’sbeneficial to keep accurate records. A sample report form is provided.F. Evaluate lessonThe people that brought you this resource are very interested in continually improving it.Please send your feedback, comments, and suggestions to email@example.com.Now that you know the basics it’s time to go to work. May God bless your efforts with “God’sCity, My City”.
Appendix 1- Information Name Telephone Email Address
Appendix 2- CovenantAs members of this group, we assign a high value to our time together, and commit to thefollowing principles, by God’s grace and through His power:I value time management, so I commit to attend the meetings, start and stop meetings on timeI value privacy and commit to discretion and confidentiality.I value other’s contributions to our discussions, so I pledge to allow everyone to contribute,listen and treat each other with respect, love, and kindness. I will keep discussion on topic.I value the importance of practical Christianity, therefore I commit to follow the 40 Days ofPrayer and Sharing Plan, and actively participate with my group in serving my community.I value the sacrifice and willingness of the host, so I commit to assist in any way I can tomaintain the meeting space in the best condition possible.Signed ________________________________
Appendix 3Ice-BreakersFeel free to come up with your own, here are just samples of ice-breakers.Fact or fiction?Ask everyone to write on a piece of paper THREE things about themselves which maynot be known to the others in the group. Two are true and one is not. Taking turnsthey read out the three ‘facts’ about themselves and the rest of the group voteswhich are true and false. There are always surprises. This simple activity is alwaysfun, and helps the group and leaders get to know more about each other.InterviewDivide the group into pairs. Ask them to take three minutes to interview eachother. Each interviewer has to find 3 interesting facts about their partner. Bringeveryone back to together and ask everyone to present the 3 facts about theirpartner to the rest of the group. Watch the time on this one, keep it moving along.Desert IslandAnnounce, Youve been exiled to a deserted island for a year. In addition to theessentials, you may take one piece of music, one book (other than the Bible) andone luxury item you can carry with you i.e. not a boat to leave the island! Whatwould you take and why? Allow a few minutes for people to draw up their list of three items,beforesharing their choices with the rest of the group. As with most icebreakersandrelationship building activities, its good for the group leaders to join in too!IfAsk the group to sit in a circle. Write 20 IF questions on cards and place them(question down) in the middle of the circle. The first person takes a card, reads it outand gives their answer, comment or explanation. The card is returned to the bottomof the pile before the next person takes their card.This is a simple icebreaker to get youngpeople talking and listening to others in thegroup. Keep it moving and dont play for too long.Write your own additional IFquestions to add to the list.1. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?2. If I gave you $10,000, what would you spend it on?3. If you could talk to anyone in the world, who would it be?4. If you could wish one thing to come true this year, what would it be?5. If you could live in any period of history, when would it be?6. If you could change anything about yourself, what would you change?7. If you could be someone else, who would you be?8. If you could have any question answered, what would it be?Would you rather..?Questions may range from silly trivia to more serious content. On the way you might
find out some interesting things about your group.Would you rather..? Visit the doctor or the dentist? Eat broccoli or carrots? Watch TV or listen to music? Own a lizard or a snake? Have a beach holiday or a mountain holiday? Be an apple or a banana? Be invisible or be able to read minds? Be hairy all over or completely bald? Be the most popular or the smartest person you know? Make headlines for saving somebodys life or winning a Nobel Prize? Go without television or fast food for the rest of your life? Be handsome/beautiful and dumb or be ugly and really smart? Always be cold or always be hot?Not hear or not see? Eliminate hunger and disease or be able to bring lasting world peace? See the future or change the past? Be three inches taller or three inches shorter?Wrestle a lion or fight a shark? Object storiesCollect together a number of objects and place in a canvas bag. The objects caninclude everyday items i.e. a pencil, key-ring, mobile phone, but also include somemore unusual ones i.e. a fossil, holiday photograph, wig! Pass the bag around the group andinvite each person to dip their hand intothe bag (without looking) and pull out one of theobjects.The leader begins a story which includes his object. After 20 seconds, the nextperson takes up the story and adds another 20 seconds, incorporating the objectthey are holding. And so on, until everyone has made a contribution to your epicliterary tale.www.insight.typepad.co.uk40 Icebreakers for Small Groups 6
Appendix 4 Name Need Date Declaration AnswerRoger Find a job 7/12/12 By faith I see this 8/6/12 God person finding provided Roger suitable with a new job employment in a close to home. timely fashion
Appendix 5 Basic reportWeek Members Visitors Comments123456