Tuesday 20 Feb 2018
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Small Group FAQs

 

  1. What is a small group?

    People who gather in small groups of 6 to 16 people who provide love, support, friendship and spiritual strength. Members are from our church, as well as friends, neighbors, relatives and coworkers who are invited to join in the adventure. Small groups meet in any location such as homes, restaurants, coffee shops, businesses or anywhere that is convenient for the members. Not everything we do has to be long term or involve bible study.

    We follow the free market small group model where we focus on the felt needs and interest of the people – Bible study groups, special interest groups(dancing, golfing), learning a new skill groups(card making), evangelism groups(Alpha), Doing Ministry As a Team groups(drama ministry team), couples group etc.


  2. What is the format for Bible study small groups?

    It is an informal and comfortable 1½-2 hours gathering at a member’s home. Most groups are guided through the study series using DVD programs, Bible study guides or personal sharing. It all depends on the maturity of the group.


  3. The 4 W’s of Small group meeting (What do we do?)

    Welcome – Connecting with each other
    Worship – Connecting with God
    Word – God addressing us (focus on application)
    Work – Share, pray, plan for reaching out


  4. How do I get connected into a group?

    It's easy. a) Go to the welcome counter at lobby after church service. The small group director or volunteers will give you a small group list and guide you to a Small group that is most suitable for you. b) Log on to our website - www.bicf.org and obtain the Small group lists. Select a group that looks promising, email the small group leader to learn more about the group and arrange to visit a group meeting. Please feel free to try more than one group. Surely, there is one for you!


  5. I would like to be a small group leader or facilitator, but do I need to be a "Bible Expert" ?

    Definitely not! If you have a willing heart, a DVD player & TV, and a few open seats in your living room, you are ready to be a leader. BICF has many DVD curriculums available that provide expert teaching to your small group, so that any one with any level of experience can lead a successful group. Your leadership responsibility is to facilitate the discussion around that teaching using provided resources. Please email smallgroup(a)bicf.org and our staff will help equip you to successfully lead a small group.


  6. What are the requirements to lead a small group at BICF?

    • Be a growing, born-again believer in Jesus Christ.
    • Is an Associate Member. (Please see Q&A no 6 – How do I become a BICF Associate Member?)
    • Involved in the life and ministry of BICF.
    • Demonstrate a teachable spirit.


  7. How do I become a BICF Associate Member?

    You need to have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, be baptized, completed the 1 hour Associate Membership class, and have signed our membership covenant that is available in the class book.


  8. How can I form a small group with people who are similar to me?

    If you would like to form a group as a certain affinity – like ethnicity (Malaysians or Cantonese), common interest (Beth Moore bible study or card making) or stations in life (like couples with toddlers only), please email smallgroup(a)bicf.org. When people are far away from home, special affinity groups are effective as an evangelism tool because people can assimilate instantly because of the common factors. This is not meant to be a segregation at all but an inclination towards ’birds of the same feather flock together’. In a multi-cultural and multi-national congregation, we thrive in diversity which makes life more interesting and find unity in Christ.


  9. What small group studies are recommended and where can I get the materials?

    Once or twice a year we ask all groups to study the same material associated with a church wide campaign. Otherwise, we ask each group to select what they want to study based on the interest of their members and their spiritual maturity. We recommend Life together, NavPress, Christianity Today International or other solid evangelical small group Bible or "felt need" studies. For available small group studies email smallgroup(a)bicf.org. We have good resource materials that come together with permission to photostat for use in BICF.


  10. What do we do when we finish a study?

    Have a party and celebrate the time you have shared together as a small group. Affirm those that leave and assure them of your prayers. Schedule your next meeting with those that will be continuing, decide on the study that you will do next, and move on ahead.


  11. How should our group handle childcare?

    First, make childcare a top priority in order to make Small group happen. You may want to rally together. You might be able to get a sitter to watch the kids in one part of the house while the group meets in another room. If there's a home nearby, one person can watch the kids there while the group meets in another house. You may even try to rotate people out of the group to take care of the children. There are many childcare options these are just a few.


  12. How do I raise up leaders?

    BICF has a very transient community. A big number stays in Beijing for about 6 months to 2 years. Once a leader steps on board we encourage them to actively: LOOK FOR YOUR REPLACEMENT & TRAIN THEM. This is a process where your group members are delegated to do small tasks of your small group. Based on their giftedness, rotate leadership and have members lead a sub- group. They can lead when you are out of town and then they can be released to lead their own group when the group is bursting at its seams. Encourage your small group members to attend BICF Leader Training so that they can effectively develop as leaders.


  13. Do we use husband and wife leadership teams?

    Yes, we do. We find it very beneficial to have both the husband and wife lead in couples small groups. Each one brings different gifts to the leadership position. They each fill in and compliment the other.


  14. How do I get my established group to want to grow and multiply?

    This starts with the vision, mission and strategy of your group being very clear to you and to the members of your group. The BICF Vision and Small Group Mission Statements help small groups understand why their group exists:

    BICF Vision: “To build a vibrant, reproducing community unified in Christ that embraces and transforms people of all nations to impact their cities, their nations, and the world for Christ."

    Our Small Group vision: “To see every person, connected in a healthy small group for the purpose of living a transformed life in Christ and community.”


  15. Can I invite people who don't attend our church?

    a. Absolutely! Inform your friends, neighbors, family members, coworkers and casual acquaintances about your small group study. Most of BICF's study materials are appropriate for both believers and seekers. Pray for God's guidance as you can make an eternal difference in the lives of others.

    b. While it is not our desire to attract people away from other Bible believing churches, BICF's desire is to both connect "unconnected – not in Small group" people at our church into small groups.


  16. Why do people move from one group to another, or do they?

    Yes, we have found over time that people do move from one group to another. It is important that you let people have the ability and the flexibility to move to another group. It's important that the leaders understand that meeting the members' needs is the primary concern, even if it means they find another group. We encourage leaders to remember that not all people grow at the same rate, or have the same needs over time. It is healthy for people to seek a group that meets their needs at the time.


  17. I have changed the day, or type of group I am leading. What do I do?

    We ask you to update your group information on your Small group Leader list by emailing smallgroup(a)bicf.org.


  18. I'm an experienced small group leader, why do I need to go to the Leaders Training?

    We want every small group leader to understand the distinctive principles of BICF small groups. Also, we believe that leaders are learners and we strive to provide advanced Leader Training and growth opportunities for our leaders. As an experienced leader you can mentor the new ones by sharing your experiences with them.

 

 

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