If you are part of Franklin Lakes Baptist Church, this post is for you.
Home Group is a new ministry that we are kicking off on July 5, 2015. The following are a number of FAQ’s concerning this ministry and it’s meant to serve as an icebreaker to what can only be described as a cultural shift for our church family. Any additional questions can be asked in the comment section of this page.
~ Pastor Matt
WHAT ARE HOME GROUPS?
Home Groups are a once a week gathering of a small group of people from Franklin Lakes Baptist Church. Home Groups are meant to serve as a community of Christ-followers who support and strengthen one another in life and our walk with Jesus.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
We are doing Home Groups as a church for a number of reasons:
- Life Together: We believe that it is our responsibility, as Christ-ones, to link arms with other believers for our own spiritual health/growth and for the theirs. While this happens naturally, many times, in a church family we are also aware (as church leaders) that life is busy and these sorts of things tend to fall by the wayside if not intentionally planned. Home Groups is our way of setting our church family up for success in this essential task.
- Gospel-Community: There are a number of ways we seek to care for the needs of those who are in our church (e.g. Deacon Care Groups, Pastoral Visitation, the Deacons Fund, Hospitality & Flower Committee). Home Groups, ideally, will serve as the primary means of caring for the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of the people of our church.
- Looking to the Future: Presently we have a small percentage of our people engaged faithfully in our Mid-week Prayer Service. We believe in the importance of this time and also know that it is a need for the spiritual health of our church. Home Groups are a way of increasing involvement in this essential Mid-week ministry.
HOW MUCH OF MY TIME IS THIS GOING TO TAKE?
Home Groups will meet once a week (the day depends on the availability of your home group members and will be set by your home group leaders) and will last for no longer than 90 minutes (from arrival to departure).
WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH OUR CHILDREN DURING MEETINGS?
Depending on the age and maturity of the child there are a few options for each Home Group:
- Involve them: If your child is beyond the age for our children’s church ministry (5 – 2nd grade), then you may want to consider having them participate in your Home Group.
- Partial Involvement: Depending on their age or the sensitivity to the topic you may want to only involve you child in a portion of the Home Group (e.g. the study questions, the prayer time, the sharing, etc.). Alternate care will be planned/provided based on your Home Group needs and abilities.
- Alternate care: If you have young children or do not believe your child is ready to participate in a Home Group gathering, alternate care needs to be arranged. We would encourage Home Groups with young families to make a plan for providing care (i.e. a rotating volunteer from the Home Group or a payed/provided caregiver).
WILL THERE BE HOMEWORK? IF SO, HOW MUCH?
“Homework” to prepare for Home Group is basic and meant to be simple. Since the studies are sermon-based you will probably want to listen to the sermon. There will also be 3-4 follow-up questions on an insert in your Sunday bulletin for that weeks Home Group discussion.
There will not be any assigned “homework” from you Home Group other than life application and accountability to your group (if desired) the next week.
AM I GOING TO HAVE TO TALK OR CAN I JUST LISTEN DURING MEETINGS?
Home Groups are structured so that you can talk when and if you have something to add. While the Home Group leader may prompt the group with questions, please do not feel that you are required to respond. We would, however, encourage you to participate as much as possible with your Home Group because your participation will be a blessing to the others in your group.
WILL I HAVE TO PRAY OUTLOUD?
No! Home Group Leaders have been instructed to be sensitive to every personality type. No one should feel pressured to pray out loud during a Home Group meeting. If someone is pressuring you, or you feel uncomfortable, please tell your Home Group leader and they will do their best to take care of this problem.
WHO ELSE IS GOING TO BE IN MY GROUP?
Groups have been formed based on relationships. We have prayerfully attempted to place every person in our church in a group of people that they know and already have a personal relationship with.
HOW MUCH DO I HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT THE BIBLE?
Home Group is not a college or seminary class, it’s a practical application and Sunday sermon follow-up gathering. This is a place to learn about the Bible and to give/gain support in living according to it. If you know what a Bible is… you’ll be just fine.
HOW MANY WEEKS/MONTHS IS THIS GOING TO LAST?
Home Group will run for 10 weeks (from July 5 – September 13). Feedback and evaluation will follow before we make any further plans.
IF I DON’T LIKE IT CAN I LEAVE WITHOUT PEOPLE BEING ANGRY WITH ME?
Yes! We know that Home Group will not be everyones “cup of tea.” We would ask, however, that you give your Home Group 3 weeks in a row before calling it quits. You won’t need to tell anyone that you are leaving Home Group but don’t be surprised if you get a follow-up call from the Home Group leader, just to make sure you’re alright. [See FAQ below]
WHAT IF I DON’T MESH WITH THE PEOPLE IN MY ASSIGNED HOME GROUP?
This is understandable. Different Home Groups will have different dynamics based on the personalities within the group. We would ask, as above, that you would give your Home Group about 3 weeks, in a row, before drawing any final conclusions. Our goal is not to make you uncomfortable but to join you with a group of fellow believers that will encourage and support you in your life in Jesus.
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO BE DOING DURING MEETINGS?
Home Groups follow a very basic 90 minute structure:
- Arrival & Light Refreshments
- Prayer Requests and Sharing
- Sermon-Based Study
- Closing Prayer
- Clean/up & Departure
WHAT IF I MISS A SUNDAY?
If you miss a Sunday Morning sermon but can still attend you weekly Home Group you can catch up on what was taught by visiting the church website and downloading the sermon. We will also make sure to post all Home Group Questions, every week, on the church’s website.