REIMAGINE GROUPS MINISTRY
The “Reimagine” project seeks to apply New Testament principles to present-day modes of church practice.
How will you reimagine your group ministries to meet the realities of our current situation? What innovative practices can you utilize while still upholding the core teachings found in Scripture? Below you will find some information, tools and resources to help you begin to reimagine.
Who could have imagined at the start of 2020 that our Sunday School classes and small groups would have to pivot from in-person gatherings to meeting online? Only a few months ago, most of us would have never considered using a digital platform like Zoom to host a Bible study. Yet, here we are. We have learned how to use Zoom, met in socially distanced circles in backyards or church parking lots, or arranged chairs in large spaces at 6 feet apart just to meet with 10 people.
Even as gathering restrictions have eased, some people are not yet comfortable with returning to a face-to-face meeting. Group leaders and Sunday School teachers feel the tension of wanting to support church leaders’ decisions about gathering while listening to and loving those group members who see things differently.
Tips & Tools
One simple, yet powerful practice that will catapult your group ministry is to encourage your leaders. This sounds intuitive; however, many volunteer group leaders can feel overwhelmed with all the adjustments they are having to make to accommodate the different needs of their group members. (And, don’t forget, these leaders have been impacted by COVID-19 as much as everyone else.) Set up a schedule for yourself to do the following: Pray for your leaders daily, text or call weekly, and meet face-to-face (at their comfort level) monthly.
“What if?” These two small words hold a world of potential to reimagine your ministry. COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to reimagine. What if these shifts in how we gather in groups can lead us to appreciate the value of community more? What if we understood this pandemic as an amplifier on the isolation and loneliness people are personally experiencing, and helped people see that groups provide much needed fellowship? What if we understood that discipleship happens best in community? What if sending our groups and classes to the neighborhood actually became the greatest outreach strategy your church has ever had? Seize this moment to return your groups to a focus on the Word of God, community with believers, and our mission to reach our neighbors. Take time to reimagine what the future could be and should be like. This is your moment!