Summer is heating up and so is the prep of Home Church for this coming year. I wanted to put a few dates on your calendar before they fill with everything else. Here are some important dates for the coming year.
- Saturday, August 29th – 6-8pm Home Church Leader Kick-off Event
- Week of September 13th – Home Church season begins (all Home Churches launch)
- Sunday, November 7th – HC Leader Training – Darrell Bock Luncheon – Engaging Culture
- January 18th, 19th, 21st, 25th, or 26th (pick one) – Home Church training at Shane & Anna’s 6:00-8:00pm
Below you’ll find some sneak peeks into some minor changes we will be phasing in this year. Also, I want to connect with as many of you this summer as possible (I have already met with some of you). If you have a time and place that works for you, shoot it to me and let’s get it on the calendar.
Coming off my time in San Diego and having the opportunity to sit with some of you for input and thoughts on what I heard and saw, I want to begin sharing the gold I found in California. I want to first say that California is very different than Conway, and their church is similar, but of course different from ours. I also want to say there are 100 different ways churches all over the US do small groups and it seems that someone is always reinventing the wheel and writing a book telling people that their way is the best. Many churches get caught up in that and completely change everything about their small group ministry every three years. We are not doing that. We are having a tune up on a great vehicle we already have for small groups.
I went to this specific church in California because not only have they been doing it one way for the past 20 years, but they have also done it very well! Much of the framework of how we do small groups is based off how they have done it. I did not go there to explore the world of small groups and make wholesale changes, I chose North Coach Church in Vista, California, because we do small groups so similar.
Ready for your first sneak peek? We are offering an additional night for HC childcare (ages 6 and under) on Wednesday evenings! If you have found it difficult to keep Sunday HC rolling due to so many people traveling on the weekends (or any other reason) and wish you could do another night but need childcare – now you can!
We are hoping for 3-5 HC’s to move to Wednesday night in order to spread out the burden of gathering so many workers as well as beef up our options for HC’s on Wednesday night. If you are willing and find that a good fit for fostering relationships in your Home Church, let me know!
Sneak Peek #2
Are you ready for another sneak peek? This year instead of two semesters we are going to test drive a three-term calendar.
Why? Having three times when we have an ‘on ramp’ and an ‘off ramp’ accomplishes a few things.
- As part of the EveryOne80 vision, this allows us more built-in time to promote and recruit our congregation into relationships through Home Church.
- New people can join a HC and not feel like it is a lifetime commitment. This allows them to take a chance and be part of the HC for a term and decide if they can relationally connect with those in the HC – if yes, continue on. If no, try another HC for a term. We hope they want to continue growing in relationship with God and one another in that HC; but if not, they can try another.
- Bonus – broken into smaller terms will strengthen commitment to be present and prepared, which fosters relationships.
How will this be different? Quite honestly, it isn’t really in many respects. Most of our HC’s are on Sunday and there is a natural break between the winter/spring terms already – spring break & Easter. What does the new schedule look like?
Schedule for 2015 – 2016
Fall Term would be the week of September 13th through the week of November 15th (11 weeks)
- Winter break would be week of November 22nd – week of January 3rd (7 weeks)
Winter Term would be the week of January 10th through week of March 13th (10 weeks)
- Spring Break – would be two weeks, the week of March 20th & 27th (Conway Public School’s spring break is week of March 20th, Easter is March 27th) (2 weeks)
Spring Term would be the week of April 3rd through the week of May 29th (8 weeks)
- Summer break would be the week of June 5th – week of September 4th (13 weeks)
Home Church will meet a total of 29 weeks over the three terms. We are excited to try this new calendar out to see if long-term it benefits the people in HC as much as we believe it will.