Now you’ve got an idea what Gathering One2One is. And now you’ve seen that God’s already authorized and equipped you to be a minister to others. How do you get started? Here’s some steps to follow, both before the first meeting, and at that first meeting together.
Before The First Meeting
Ask God to help you grow through someone else ministering to you, and to help someone else grow through you. Ask that he would reveal hidden faults and motives and sins that might interfere with your readiness to serve. Ask for wisdom and discernment, both in finding a person to meet with and in choosing a focus for meeting. And ask him to help you find someone to gather with, by making someone open and willing to meet!
2. EXAMINE YOURSELF
As you pray, you should examine yourself. Ask some probing questions of yourself. What are my motives? Am I truly seeking someone to help me follow Jesus, or am I really looking for someone to follow me? Am I actually open to being encouraged and admonished by someone else? Am I truly confident that God has equipped me to do this, and if not, what do I need to gain that confidence? Is there something in particular I need help with—a sin, an attitude, a habit? Or is there an area of following Jesus I would really like to grow in? Is there someone in particular who might be helpful with those?
3. ASK SOMEONE!
For some people, this might be the toughest part: asking someone to meet with you! It doesn’t need to be a big deal. Just walk up to someone at church, and ask, “Would you like to meet with me a few times, for Bible reading, or prayer, or sermon application?” If asking face-to-face is hard for you, pray for courage! And if need be you can always text or email!
4. SCHEDULE THE FIRST MEETING
When talking with the other person about meeting for the first time, just keep it simple! The only thing you need to figure out for now is where and when to meet for the first time. All you probably need is an hour, no more.
At The First Meeting
1. PRAY TO OPEN
One of you should say a brief prayer to open the meeting. Thank God for one another, for your own church, and for the meeting, and ask him to bless it and glorify himself in it.
2. SET A SCHEDULE
First, determine your schedule. How often would you like to meet—weekly? Twice a month? Monthly? How long or for how many meetings would you like to commit to? Make sure there’s a clear end to your commitment. What time and which day of the week would you like to meet, and where?
3. DECIDE YOUR FOCUS
What would you like to focus on in your meetings? Would you like to read through a part of the Bible together—a shorter book, or several chapters? Would you like to discuss and encourage each other in the week’s sermon applications? Would you like to spend most of the time praying together?
4. REVIEW THE GATHERING ONE2ONE MINISTRY GUIDES FOR THAT FOCUS TOGETHER
If you can, try to bring the Gathering One2One Ministry Guides to the first meeting. Once you choose a focus (prayer, Bible reading, or sermon application), look over the Guide for that focus together. Not only does this give you an idea what you’ll be doing, but if any questions come up, you can come to an answer together (or find someone after to help answer it).
5. PRAY TO CLOSE
When you’re finished, the person who did not pray to open should pray to close. Thank God for the meeting, and for the decisions you made. Ask him to bless your times together and to help both of you grow through it, and that he would build up your local church by it.