WELCOME — Don’t read through the list; this is something that you model.
- Help new believers, visitors, and members feel valued and welcomed.
- Start at the moment someone arrives and don’t end until everyone is gone.
- Establish a foundation for relationships.
OPENING PRAYER — Don’t read through the list; this is something that you model.
- Invite God’s Holy Spirit into our presence.
- Prepare our hearts for what God has for us.
- Shift our attention from individual fellowship to the group.
PURPOSE/VISION CASTING — Don’t read through the list; say them in your own words.
“The purpose of this group is…”
- to mature in our relationship with God.
- to have the people we need around us to disciple and encourage us.
- to be here for others in the group; to encourage and disciple others.
- to live life together; we are here for each other in the joyful and difficult moments of our lives.
GROUND RULES — Cover all the ground rules.
- Confidentiality: What’s said in the group stays in the group.
- Listen: Let’s value one another during the discussions by really listening to what is being shared. Try to avoid thinking about how you are going to respond or what you are going to say next.
- Pause: Allow a pause in conversation after someone shares to give the person sharing a chance to finish and give the group an opportunity to consider what was shared before responding.
- Silence: It is important to allow silence in the group as it provides an opportunity for someone to share and for members in the group to process the topic or question being considered.
- No Cross Talk: Be considerate of others as they are sharing. No side conversations.
- No Fixing: We are not here to fix each other. Jesus does that. Give encouragement, speak truth, and point to Jesus. Don’t try to fix each other.
- No Rescuing: When people are sharing something deeply personal, there can be a tendency to make them feel better about themselves or the situation by providing immediate condolences. This will often cause them to stop sharing. Resist the temptation to rescue people.
- Sharing: Be sensitive about the amount of time you share.
- Use “I” statements: It’s easy to talk about the issues of others, but for our purposes, we want you to put yourself on the table. Try to use “I” statements rather than “they,” “the church,” “us,” “we,” etc.
- Household Rules: We appreciate those who open their home up to CARE Groups and out of respect to them we need to… (e.g., take shoes off, clean up toys afterward, put chairs back, leave by 8 pm, etc.)
OPENING CONNECTION — Use the following icebreaker.
- “If you could have complete confidence in one area of your life, what would it be?”
STORY PREPARATION — Introduce today’s section of Romans.
- “The text this evening is Roman 16.” (Add some of your own thoughts.)
TELL THE STORY — Give a short summary of the passage.
- Romans 16
REBUILD THE STORY — Have someone read the passage.
- Romans 16:17–27
DEBRIEF THE STORY — Ask the questions.
- If you were able to attend the service, what was your personal take-away from the names mentioned in the first part of chapter 16?
- Paul put emphasis throughout Romans on the idea of no condemnation. How does condemnation impact a person individually, or as a group of people?
- How has condemnation influenced your life?
- Paul says that “there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus our Lord.” What is your part in helping each other live this out?
- What is your part in helping those outside the Church find this freedom?
CLOSE IN PRAYER — Don’t read through the list; choose a way to close in prayer.
- Take prayer requests.
- Pray about the conversation that you just had.
- Break up in smaller groups to pray as an option.