Phase One - Start!

So, our Third Service Team (though that may be a misnomer at this point) got together again a couple days ago to continue dreaming and visioning this new direction for the Third Service ministry. Here's some of what we came up with.

Some of the groups will most likely be focused on some type of activity. Dan and Troy, for instance, were talking about starting a group based on music. They'd get together to learn new songs (mostly Christian music, I suspect) and out of the learning of those songs would spring times for discussion about meanings of songs, what they Bible says about those songs, how worship can be a part of our every day lives, etc. (These are just off the top of my head.) The main thing is that it would flow naturally.

Robin and I are thinking of starting a group with some young couples who have young kids. We'd start with some couples in the church--get them together to see if they want to be a part of this group/outreach. Then in another week or so we'd invite some other couples we know who don't attend any church. The key here, again, is to be natural. I think it's important to be straightforward with them--tell them exactly what we're doing. I don't think we should ever pretend this group is something other than what it is, namely church.

I think we still need to work out some of the strategy of how to really run these groups and keep them outreach-oriented, but it seems we'll figure a lot of that out by trial and error. That's why Phase One of this new ministry is simply to "Start!"

There are, however, some questions that we need to keep in mind as we start these groups:

1) How do we keep them focused on being church, instead of just a get-together?

2) How do we keep them focused on outreach, as opposed to simply being a small group and run the risk of becoming in-grown?

3) How do we grow? Do we split groups when they grow? Do we prepare certain people to break off and become leaders of other groups?

4) How do we help people in these groups know and feel comfortable with the idea that these groups are Union Presbyterian Church?

5) How do we help people in these groups become involved in the larger ministry of Union Presbyterian Church? (By this, I don't mean, "How do we get them to come on Sunday morning?" I mean, "How can they get involved in other ministries of UPC--like youth ministry, children's ministry, missions, tithing, etc.?")

6) And also, how might technology play a part in these groups? Can we use blogs like this one to discuss issues and questions online? Can we provide short podcasts (audio and/or video) for groups to watch to help initiate a topic and pose questions for discussion? What other possibilities are there for the use of technology?

So, we've clearly got a lot to think about. But I'm pretty excited about where God seems to be leading us!


DGH said...

Sounds like a good start to me!

Sometime you just have t do it ad expect mistakes and just keep on truck'n. My prayers are with yall!

Dustin Reynolds said...

You've got a good head on your shoulders and sounds like this could turn into something. Do you see this as a training for future outreach couples. That was confusing, what I meant is can you see yourself preparing those in this group to play the role you are taking on at this point? It is kind of like a "pay it forward" idea. You prepare 3 couples, they each prepare 3, etc. Or, is this an outreach (church) outside of the church building? In essence, you would be creating community/fellowship everywhere outside of the building itself in order to draw people to the community already existing within the building.

Markus Watson said...

Well, I think it's a little bit of both, Dustin. I definitely want this to serve as "church" for people. I want these groups to be intentional communities in which worship and spiritual growth happens every week. But I also want it to be intentionally focused on outreach. For that to happen I think we need to be continuously starting new groups. And for that to happen, we need to be training people to start and lead those groups. So the answer to your question is yes on both counts!

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