You may have heard about Journey Groups, or you may have been invited to one, and don't know quite what it is or what commitment level it requires. This page provides a brief overview of Journey Groups with some Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom. Especially read the "Journey Orientation" document to the right, which provides a more detailed explanation.
If you have questions or are interested in learning more, please contact the Andrea Diener, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (321) 727-2661.
What is a Journey Group?
A Journey Group consists of 4-7 people who meet weekly for the purpose of mutual, life-on-life, missional discipleship. Men meet with men, and women meet with women.
"Mutual, life-on-life" - These groups emphasize the concept of "iron sharpening iron," where everybody participates in helping the others grow (as opposed to a teacher merely dispensing knowledge to everybody else).
"Missional" - These groups strongly resist the "holy huddle" tendency by requiring its members to be praying for and reaching out to their non-Christian contacts (neighbors, co-workers, friends, etc.). In the New Testament, healthy disciples are Christ-followers who are multiplying their faith. These groups expect its members to be growing in personal, relational evangelism.
The Journey Group curriculum covers three years total, but participants only commit to nine months at a time (Sep-May), with a break over the summer.
"Discipleship" - These groups are not typical Bible studies, although the Bible is studied. They are really all about discipleship, or growing in our actual walk with Christ on a daily basis. This can only happen when people are investing personally in each others' lives.
To understand how Journey Groups "fit in" to our overall church vision and what options are available to you after completing a Journey Group, go to Next Steps After Journey.
How do I Join a Journey Group?
After reading this whole page (including the FAQ below and the Journey Orientation document above), if you are still interested in getting connected in a Journey Group, contact Andrea Diener at email@example.com or (321) 727-2661. Please realize that although our number of groups is growing, we still have a limited number of leaders and open slots. We will try our best to accommodate your desire to join a Journey Group.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q - How are Journey Groups different from regular small groups or Sunday school classes?
A - Although there are many similarities, Journey Groups are much more intentional about developing healthy, "missional disciples." People going through Journey Groups study the Scriptures with a huge emphasis on personal application and accountability--more than merely "teaching" and "learning." Growth in mere knowledge of the Scriptures doesn't necessarily produce disciples who are making an impact for God's Kingdom. There is a high expectation that participants will be looking for (and making the most of) opportunities to use their gifts in the church and share their faith with non-Christian friends.
Q - What time commitment does this require?
A - Each weekly meeting lasts about 1.5 hours, plus about 2 additional hours of homework (total) per week. This averages out to a little less than 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week. In terms of the big picture, the Journey Group curriculum covers three years total, but participants only commit to nine months at a time (Sep-May), with a break over the summer.
Q - What is expected of people who want to join one of these groups?
A - "Intentional discipleship" simply cannot happen without some level of meaningful commitment and self-discipline. Therefore, group members are required to sign a "Group Covenant" (contained in the "Journey Orientation" document above) a few weeks into the study. Members commit to consistent attendance, being on time, spending time with God on a daily basis ("quiet times"), praying for and reaching out to unbelieving friends, and a few other items. Take a look at the orientation document for more specifics.
Q - What do the Journey Group lessons look like?
A - For an overview of what topics are covered each year, take a look at the "Journey Three-Year Overview" document above. For sample lessons, take a look at the documents labeled with numbers ("01...", "02...", etc.). Each lesson consists of five components: Teaching, Equipping, Accountability, Mission, and Supplication (spelling "T.E.A.M.S."). For each lesson, members are expected to complete all five sections (one per day) prior to discussing it in the group. When you meet in your group, you talk about what you learned that week, pray for and with one another, and encourage each other to for the upcoming week.
Q - Why are these groups gender segregated?
A - Since Journey Groups heavily emphasize transparency, vulnerability, confidentiality, and accountability, this kind of discipleship is most effective when men meet only with men and women meet only with women.
Q - If I join one of these groups, am I still expected by CPC leadership to be in a Covenant Group also?
A - No. In fact, if you join a Journey Group, we encourage you to view this group as your Covenant Group. The reason is that Journey Groups emphasize service and relational evangelism, so we don't want your schedule to be filled up with too much "church stuff." We want you to be able to spend time with your families and unbelieving friends.
Q - What happens after the the first year?
A - When you complete the first year, you have several options. You can continue on to the second year, you can fold back into a regular Covenant Group, or you can lead your own Journey Group, among many other options. Although there is not an absolute expectation that Journey Group graduates become leaders, we do intend to fill our leadership positions with more and more Journey Group graduates over time.
Q - How much does this program cost me?
A - We are charging $15 each year that you participate in a Journey Group, plus an additional $15 for the one-time purchase of required materials (The Answer and Life Issues), for a total of $30 for the new Journey participants. These prices simply cover our costs for licensing and materials for each participant. Scholarships are available. We never want a person to say "no" to discipleship for purely monetary reasons.
Q - Where is this Journey Group material coming from?
A - This material was developed by Pastor Randy Pope, Senior Pastor of Perimeter Church (PCA) in Atlanta, Georgia. This curriculum has had many years of proven success there and at other churches in more recent years. It is also the primary discipleship curriculum used by John Purcell, Director of Transform Ministries, who helps churches implement discipleship groups.
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