I am convinced that our covenants (written agreements) for our small groups will become more powerful and meaninful if we allow the groups themselves to write them, within certain guidelines.
Until now, we’ve all signed the same piece of paper. That covenant wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t a unique expression of who the group was or what they wanted to do. I’d like the groups to have this.
Marty (see his link in the Blogroll) and I have formulated this plan. The first step I’ve begun:
I started with the four defining values of our small groups (Authenticity, Transformation, Outward-Reaching, Multiplication). I’ve attempted a definition of each one, and then I’ve attempted to nail down how these definitions play out in real life.
This is no small task. It’s important foundations for the next step. So it’s important to me that I get this right. That’s part of why I’m posting it here.
I’m particularly interested in feedback from folks who are currently connected to a small group (whether this small group is at FC or elsewhere) What do you think of the definitions and examples beneath each definition? Is there anything that should be changed, added, or deleted? What should we do to make the covenants more powerful and personal? Is there anything else we should be considering?
At any rate, the document is below. Please, pretty pretty please, let me know what you think!
Authenticity: We are engaged in transparent, supportive, and loving relationships with other members of the group and the church.
Questions: What should we commit to in order to grow these relationships?
A) Regular attendance
B) Respectful actions
Transformation: We are commited to seeking out Christ and conforming ourselves to his image.
Question: What should we commit to in order to maximize our growth in Christ?
A) Regular prayer for each other.
B) Submission to the needs of the group.
C) Application of Biblical principles.
Outward Reaching: We will work to bring about the Kingdom of God.
Question: What should we do?
How much should we do it?
A) Social justice
C) Formal service projects
D) Informal, spontaneous help
Multiplication: We are committed to growing small groups through out New Englad.
Question: What steps can we take toward multiplying?
A) Shared leadership to develop gifts
B) Apprentice others in things we do within the group
C) Seek out to be apprenticed by someone else.
D) Participate in multiplying groups.