Main Street Edu. Ministry Transition #1

Welcome to the first of 5 blog postings concerning the Main Street Education Ministry.  Over the course of the next 6 months, we will transition several of our Education Ministry offerings and opportunities.

The purpose of this posting is to describe the first transition which will begin in theory August 2007, but in practicality in January of 2008.  I will explain fully in a moment.

Transition #1 – THE SMALL GROUP PARADIGM

We have some good news and some not-so-good news.  You always get the not-so-good news first, right?  The not-so-good news is that many people can not attend a Sunday morning Bible study for a variety of reasons (i.e. work schedules, serving elsewhere in teaching or worship, children requirements, etc).  They want to be involved in a small group study, but their life situation limits them from doing that.  Some experts say as many as 40% of a congregation can not attend a Sunday morning study.  So there is a need for ANOTHER TIME.

The not-so-good news continues.  Some Sunday morning classes do not have the posibility for REAL, DEEP relationships to be formed amongst all the classmembers.  Time constraints, different people every week, different teachers each quarter, and being stuck to the lesson, all hinder deep community from forming within a group of people.

Finally, Sunday morning is often viewed as TOO formal.  Inside the church walls, in padded chairs, with study books can cause people to not open up and be themselves.  They want to share about their lives, their interests, their struggles, their successes…but the mindset of “we have to GET THROUGH THE LESSON!” can stop them from doing so.

SO what is the GOOD NEWS?

The GOOD NEWS is…there are other options being formed.  One such option is called THE SMALL GROUP PARADIGM (SGP).   What is the SGP?  Here is a brief listing of what a small group looks like.

 Small Group Paradigm

  •   In home, casual environment
  •   Discussion focused
  •   Limited # – 12 to 15 max. adults
  •   Off campus (not Sunday AM)
  •   Childcare provided by group members
  •   Equal time given for fellowship, Bible study & discussion
  •   Intentionally multiplying
  •   4 to 6 month time commitment
  •   Covenantal aggreement among members

There is a whole lot to say about each of these points.  I could write a paragraph about each, but trust me when I say I will be explaining this fully in our August 25th meeting.  This is only a preview.

The SGP will begin by me personally training the first generation of leaders in my home during the fall.  From mid-August through November, every Wednesday evening, 12 future small group leaders will be meeting together to learn the ins and outs of small groups and experiencing what it is like to be in a small group themselves.

Then starting in January, March, June and September 2008, these newly trained small group leaders will open up their homes and starts groups of their own. 

And like that…we will implement the Small Group Paradigm at Main Street.  This will supplement the 6 ongoing Sunday morning classes we will have, along with other groups that meet on other days of the week (i.e. 7:59 Men’s on Saturday, Wednesday night Bible study, etc.)

If you would like to preview the presentation I will be making in our August 25th meeting, attached is the PowerPoint (ppt file) for the Small Group Paradigm.

NEXT TRANSITION POSTING:  Monday, June 25

Small Group Paradigm Presentation
      (please click and follow instructions to download file.  If this doesn’t work, email me at shanegarrison@sievechurch.org and I will forward you the file.  You must have PowerPoint to view this file.)

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One thought on “Main Street Edu. Ministry Transition #1

  1. I am very pleased to see Main Street moving toward a small group paradigm. As I looked through your Powerpoint, which was very good, these questions arose in my mind: 1) if the small groups are focused on discussing scripture, do we really need to worry that the discusssion is not “supervised” — can we trust God to speak through his word to people who are reading and discussing it — even though none of them have divinity degrees? 2) if the small group leaders are trained and are staying in touch with the pastor(s), can they be asked to report any potential “dissension” before it grows?

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