The Order of Service should be between 90 to 120 minutes. This should be sufficient time to go through all the important elements. Remember, starting and finishing on time will help you in the long run. Most people have to work or go to school the next morning and if your group always goes longer than it’s supposed to, it may discourage someone from coming back. Stay consistent with the time.
Order of Service (90-120 minutes)
- Greet people as they arrive (15 min.)
- Welcome new members publicly.
- Praise reports (10 min.)
- Praise and Worship (15min.)
- Discussion (30-35min.)
- Prayer requests and prayer (25 min.)
- Fellowship (20 min.)
1. Arrival of Members
Make sure they have a parking lot to park their car. You don’t want people to start parking just about anywhere or you could cause trouble with the neighbours.
Ensure that everyone has been properly greeted and seated.
2.Presentation of new members
Showing up to a new group can be scary for some people so making sure you get this part right is key. Here is an example that you can use if there’s anyone new in your group
“Since we have a new guest tonight, we will introduce ourselves, saying our name, where are you from and how long have you been a Christian for”. This exercise helps members get to know each other better and breaks the ice. In addition, as some are shy, it allows them to open up progressively.
3.Testimonies of answers to prayer
If there are no first time guests, the meeting starts here.
Make sure not to skip this part. Talking about what the Lord has done, not only glorifies and honors Him, but it strengthens the faith of the listeners. You may want to mention that there will be a time of prayer requests after the discussion in case people would want to add the requests here.
It is very important to start no later than the time agreed upon, otherwise you may not have enough time to time for the discussion or prayer.
After hearing about the wonderful and powerful accounts of what God has done, a member can lead the group in praise. If you have someone gifted in signing, this can be a good opportunity for them to lead praise and worship in your group. We also have a song list you can pick from and can use to lead your group in praise if you don’t have a person to lead during this time.
For the discussion part, we have taken the burden off your shoulders so you can simply talk about Sunday’s sermon. Discuss important points that you have retained and that you have deepened in your preparation. You can find the recaps both in text and video format here: https://newbeginning-church.com/sermons/
Also, please see the document on “How to take notes on Sunday to lead better discussions in your group”. (will be posted soon)
7. Prayers and requests
Next, allow for approximately 15-20 minutes of prayer. The leader should give an introduction about how the prayer time should flow. (i.e.: God is not impressed with how eloquent you are in praying publicly so don’t feel intimidated if this is your first time praying in a group.) Maybe ask someone who you know will be comfortable praying publicly to break the ice and then encourage the others to pray concerning the requests mentioned. You can close the prayer time by praying about what you have talked about and pray for any requests that were missed by those who prayed before you.
Keep a good 15-20 minutes for this part. It is very important that people get to know each other. A small snack can be shared from time to time but keep it simple.
Once again, it is not recommended to exceed the set time, even if the discussion is very animated. Better to postpone it until the following week, which will encourage participants to come back excited. If we prolong, we run the risk that some do not return for fear of returning home too late. It also encouraged that if you are not the host, to be the last person to leave the house.