Identify your target outreach population, whether friends/family, a neighborhood/community, or a common interest or ministry.
Seek primarily those without an already established church affiliation, the “nones” or “dones.”
Ask for an initial commitment of 4 weeks to get to know each other and layout the purpose and format for meeting.
Wait to start until you have at least 5 adults from at least three different family groups.
Be sure to be interactive to set the tone for later sharing and facilitation of the group.
Primary Focus: Getting to know each other
Have food: either prepare a simple meal, finger foods, or dessert.
After casual socializing, gather together for an ice breaker.
Suggest 2 minute life story as ice breaker: each person has 4 minutes, a timed 2 minutes to tell as many details about their life as they can, a timed 1 minute for the rest of the group to repeat back as many details as they recall, a timed 1 minute to ask questions of the person. Of course they are free to decline answering any they choose.
Discuss how biblical terminology is usually “brothers and sisters,” and the group will model becoming a spiritual family. Explore “what does it mean to be family?”
Explore briefly each persons familiarity with the Bible, give a very brief overview if anyone lacks familiarity.
Make sure everyone has access to a Bible, either physical or digital. Make it an easy reading version such as the NLT or NCV.
Share the primary focus of gatherings 2, 3, and 4.
Primary Focus: God’s Big Story
Review “God’s Big Story” from the RFN website.
Review “2 Ways to Live” from the RFN app, online at https://twowaystolive.com, or pass out the Two Ways booklet, or the Two Roads booklet. Have different group members read the different sections.
Explore where people are at regarding response to God’s Story. Ask what they think about the big story and. how they can, or already have, responded to this.
Consider baptism for any un-baptized or new believers.
Share the primary focus of gatherings 3 and 4.
Primary Focus: Our Purpose and Values
Ask members what they think is the most important of all the commands in the Bible.
Review Purpose statement from the RFN website.
Read the Great Commandment (and second greatest) from Mark 12:28-34.
Read the Great Commission from Matthew 28:18-20.
Review the values from the RFN website and discuss each individually, asking what they think of the value and why it is important to them.
Ask members if they have ever heard the word “ekklesia.”
Tie the last value to a discussion of what is an “ekklesia” (review this from the RFN website).
Discuss the minimal necessary ingredients for ekklesia: Mission-Community-Worship.
Play the video “Is A Microchurch A Real Church” from the website.
Share the 4th gathering primary focus.
Primary Focus: Understanding our Mission
Review Mission from the RFN website.
Review Our Model of networking communities from the RFN website.
Discuss the Chain Link Principle from the RFN website and how we grow by each family remaining with their family of origin but also start their own nuclear family.
The simple format of the Disciples Bible Study (DBS) and shared leadership is designed to facilitate launching your own group.
Distribute DBS Journals to each participant and review how it is used.
Introduce the option to connect with other small groups that are part of Restoration Fellowship Network. Review the benefits of networking from the website. Introduce the website, app, heylo, and Facebook page.
Explain Covenant of Commitment and that it is not required to be involved in the group, it is only about officially connecting with the larger Restoration Fellowship Network (4 adults signing the Covenant is the minimum to affiliate). This could be re-visited at a later date if not enough are interested at this time in affiliating.
Determine starting point in the reading schedule (suggest using uniform reading schedule posted on the Facebook group for RFN), but can start anywhere and eventually merge into uniform reading schedule.