I'm not sure if you're asking about having partners within or outside the group. Sometimes we can invite women who can't come to the group (perhaps because they're working or otherwise unavailable), to be partners with people in the group, or to pray for the group as the group is meeting.
However, I suspect you are asking about pairing up, or partnering within the group. Here are some suggestions:
1. Invite women to pair up, in the group, share one prayer request with each other, and pray . (Women will often share more freely with one other person, rather than aloud in the group.)
2. Suggest that women can pray silently or aloud - God hears all of our prayers.
3. Suggest that they pray in response to a statement or question such as "What are you thankful for this week?" or "Who can I pray for that you are concerned about?" or "What do you want to ask God for this week?"
4. Give everyone a blank recipe card and ask them to write down their name and a prayer request. Then trade with a partner, and pray for each other during the week.
5. Or....Each woman brings a mug, and places the above card with name and prayer request in the mug. Trade with a partner, and you are reminded to pray for your partner whenever you have a cup of tea/coffee at home. Alternatively, these mugs can be exchanged secretly, so that no one knows who is praying for them - like a secret sister. Pray for your one person throughout the season, and reveal your prayer partner at the end of the year.
6. This year, we made prayer journals, and are encouraging women to bring the journals each week, and record the things that we are praying for. Each woman can also pray throughout the week for the needs expressed. (send me a note if you want more info... [email protected])
I'd love to hear ideas from others as well!
Posted in: Where can I find coffee break materials?
Have you checked the Faith Alive website? They are the publisher of the Discover Your Bible material that Coffee Break uses.
I checked on line, and noticed that there is only one book of Mark, so perhaps it has been reformated. If its not clear on the website, you can call the toll free number: 1-800-333-8300
I hope that is helpful for you.
Posted in: Best Way to Mentor?
Mentoring provides blessing for both the mentor and the mentee. In answer to your question about whose responsibility it is to maintain the relationship, many mentoring/coaching resources recommend that the initiative must be with the mentee. While I agree with this in leadership development, I believe that walking alongside our youth might require a slightly different approach.
In my opinion, the most natural kind of relationship would involve initiative that comes from both parties. As a mentor, especially within a church family, we have the opportunity to invest in someone spontaneously and freely. Particularly in the case of youth mentees, it would be wonderful if the mentor would bless and pour into a life through encouragement, cards, prayer, invitations etc. unsolicited. I believe a mentor in these situations can be proactive, rather than simply waiting for youth to initiate.
Imagine how blessed we would be if more of us would just choose to be a mentor to someone else in our church settings. Perhaps a young mom, or a young family needs to be encouraged in the challenges of parenting, in the absence of extended family that is far away. Perhaps a young urban professional needs a seasoned, Christian business man to walk along side him, just to offer support and a listening ear. Or maybe a young teacher in your midst would welcome the support of a mature person or a family home.
The blessing of mentoring - an opportunity waiting to be embraced!
Leadership training events are planned as needed in various regions where there are Ministry Developers available. We are also in the process of making the training more available through webinars and on-line resources. Please contact the office directly for further information about training: 1-888-644-0814 (Irene) or email [email protected] . In addition, you can also go to http://www.crcna.org/pages/crhm_reps.cfm to find the contact info for your local Ministry Developer.
Posted in: Dwelling in the Text
Thanks Zach! I totally agree with you, and I probably should have used a different title. Dwelling in the text really is about sitting with the text and waiting on the Holy Spirit to speak to us.
I was writing this from the perspective of my work with Coffee Break (CB). While CB is evangelistic in nature, many women come with varied experience in Bible study. Some have never opened the Bible; others may have great familiarity but gloss over the richness of scripture. Questions really help us to dig into the text, to look at things in a fresh way, and to begin to apply the truths we are learning to our own journeys. The Holy Spirit also often speaks to us through what others express in a group; groups are so helpful in the journey of discovering what the Bible says and means.
Thanks for sharing with us your practice of printing out the scripture, which is another truly meaningful way to engage the text! Blessings to you as you continue in the Word!
Welcome Becky! Great to have you on board, and I look forward to working together!
The Goodness of God - Bethel Music (I am moved by this song every time we sing it.)
Who You Say I Am - Hillsong Worship
Living Hope - Phil Wickham
Posted in: Becoming the Guest
I have observed this somewhat in my Coffee Break group. We have a growing number of women who are finding us through various avenues. I have learned that it is a gift to others if you come into their space, particularly those who are from another country and culture. I've learned to eat new foods, and learn about other cultures. Hospitality goes both ways - offering and receiving. Thanks for sharing your learning!!
Posted in: How to Be A Spiritual Guide in Coffee Break
Thanks so much for this post, helping us to focus on transformation! I like the questions you've listed here. I really like that some of the questions are focused on the application of what we're learning. Sometimes there is a danger in thinking that we only need to change our hearts; but real transformation is lived out in our obedience. And, as we obey, we begin to experience even greater transformation. Our obedience fuels a heart change, which fuels our obedience, etc. It's like a dance!
Here are a couple of additional questions we might consider:
* What is God asking you to do?
* Where do you see God at work, and how can you join Him?
* Who else needs to know? Who can you share with about what you've learned today?
Thanks for your work!
Posted in: Hospitality — The Glue of Groups
Thanks Diane! I agree whole-heartedly! For those who live alone (or those who are in challenging relationships), we can give the gift of touch. And it's a great suggestion to ask first. Thanks for that reminder!
Posted in: The Posture of Questions
Thanks Sam! I think one of the things that I'm learning is our need to 'wonder'! I often challenge people to try to read the text as if reading it for the first time. (We often read through our 'churchy' eyes, and miss some key details.) What do you wonder about? What questions does it raise for you?
Sometimes we ask questions with the answer already in mind. What about the things we don't readily have answers to? What might we learn or begin to see about who God is? What are we wrestling with in the text?
I love the beauty of asking questions, and how they help us to dig deeper into the truth of scripture. Jesus asked questions of his listeners and followers, a lot!
Thanks for the reminder, Sam!
Posted in: Simple Steps to Faith Sharing
Thanks for this article. I wonder if you could share a story of how this has played out? It would be so helpful to read an example of how this has been put into practice.
I have seen that one of the pieces of sharing a faith story is the need to develop relationships with people who are far from God. As we develop relationships, we begin to see the places where someone might be open to something of the Gospel story. In my experience, I've had opportunity to share really only once I've developed a relationship. The sharing typically takes on a unique shape, depending on the story of the person I'm connecting with. Also, the story is told over time, through the rhythms of life - rhythms of eating together and simply doing life together. We need to know the basics of sharing a faith story, certainly. However, the relational piece of ministry I believe is equally important. Many of us struggle to get beyond our church community. We need to rub shoulders with people so that they will "ask you to give the reason for the hope that you have".
I hope you will share a story, to give a context for faith sharing.