At Pathway we believe that finding and following Jesus happens in community— something we do together. Because of this, we meet weekly in smaller groups in homes throughout the area.
Missional Community Groups are designed to help each person grow, in the context of a loving community, to become more like Jesus.
What’s the ideal size of a group?
The ideal size of a group is 8-12 people. It’s our hope that each group will have an assistant leader who can lead when the primary leader is absent, but who also can also eventually become a leader for a new group as the groups grow.
We would like each group participant to make a 12 month commitment to their specific group. Then in the fall of each year each group member will have the option to re-up with the same group or switch to another group.
When and where will the groups meet?
We encourage each group to meet at least three times a month during the school year – during the first, second and third week of each month. In the summer months groups may continue this rhythm or choose to meet once a month for a BBQ or to serve together.
Also, each group will meet in homes of the participants, and can meet on any day of the week. Groups are formed both by geography and affinity. (Childcare will be the responsibility of each group. To ensure this does not hinder people from coming, Pathway will reimburse up to $75 per month for childcare.)
What will a Missional Community Group do?
It’s our expectation that each group will seek to incorporate the following elements (Acts 2:42-47):
The Word - apply God’s word to everyday living.
Each time we open the Bible together the goal is not just to be hearers of the word simply to attain more knowledge, but to be doers of the word and to live it out (James 1:22).
The content for each group will be the text from the sermon that week. Discussion questions will be posted on the Pathway website each Sunday to facilitate discussion and application of the text.
Fellowship - build one another up to Christ-likeness
Eat meals together, practice hospitality, encourage/affirm each other, celebrate spiritual success stories, laugh, cry, and have fun with Christ as the bond that unites and to hold one-another accountable for living out the truth of God’s word in your daily life.
Prayer – pray for each other.
Each group should be a safe place where people can share personal prayer requests and pray for each other, as well as pray for the needs of Pathway and beyond. You may want to keep a group prayer journal, encourage group members to pray for one another during the week, both for personal needs and for unsaved friends/neighbors, learn to fast and pray together, and/or utilize classic prayers from the Bible and from the ancient church to enrich your prayer times.
Missional Engagement – increase our evangelistic temperature.
The more each person knows how much God loves them, the more they will be compelled to tell others the good news about Jesus (2 Cor 5:14). To this end we expect each group to help each person learn to utilize the One Degree Rule to take their evangelistic temperature on a monthly basis and to share stories of how God is growing them in this and what step they plan to take in the next month to grow one degree. (see Organic Outreach For Churches, chapter 7).
In addition, we encourage each group to regularly engage in some kind of outward service. For example, a group can sign up to serve refugees through World Relief. Or a group can volunteer to participate in Kids Hope at Conrad Fischer Elementary School. We encourage each group to pray together, identify the gifts and passions of the group and then decide what this will look like for their group.
What are the expectations of the leader? Each group will have an identified leader that will guide the group in the following:
- Must be a Pathway member and willing to serve.
- Help the group look to God and live out the truth of God’ word in their daily lives.
- Respect every person as a unique individual made in the image of God and make sure each person is shown respect and cared for by other members to promote a safe and nurturing environment.
- Make sure and maintain a healthy balance of word, prayer, fellowship and mission.
- Model honest, authentic relationships.
- Practice confidentiality in the group.
- Attend quarterly training sessions.
What are the expectations of each participant?
- Make it a priority to attend regularly.
“Simply let your ‘yes be yes,’ and your ‘no be no’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37
- Keep everything said in the group confidential unless permission is granted to share it.
“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” Proverbs 11:13
- Do your part to make your group a safe environment to grow into Christ-likeness.
“Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Eph. 4:29
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is Christ.” Eph. 4:15
- Come ready and willing to serve those inside your group and outside your group.
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” John 13:1-17