Promise Driven Life Reading Group – Suggestions for the First Meeting

1.  Use the OUTLINE as agenda/guide/format.
2.  Use this week to introduce the book and get group acclimated.
3.  It’s important to have ministry members grounded on Pastor’s foundation for the book and how to use it. To accomplish this, reading the Prologue and select sections of the Introduction out loud is highly recommended.
4.  Allow people to “introduce” themselves with a short statement (time this). Saying something about an objective or about a new development at work or home, or about a growing passion will encourage sharing and help everyone to get more comfortable.
5.  Set the ground rules. (See the suggestions below)

The following agenda can be used each week:

AGENDA:

  •   Welcome
  •   Introductions
  •   Opening Prayer
  •   Scripture (Select from section of the book you are covering in your meeting.)
  •   Reaction/feedback/testimonies (depending on where you are in book)
  •   Read excerpts from book out loud (encourage participants to volunteer to read – key aspects or bold areas or highlights related to testimonies, experiences or assignments since, or from, the last session)
  •   Discussion or comments
  •   Assignments to be completed by the next meeting
  •   Closing Prayer

Suggestions for Week 1 assignments:

1.  Identify someone to be your Promise Partner (essentially an accountability partner.) According to Webster’s Dictionary:

Promise is an agreement to do or not to do something; Partner is one who undertakes something with another.

Touch base with your Promise Partner frequently during this journey/process. The days and times should be determined ahead of time.

2.  Recite out loud the promise statements on pages 36-42 to reinforce your commitment and level of learning. Start the statements with “I”, “I am” or “My” to take ownership and personalize it.

3.  USE THESE PAGES TO DO A SELF-ASSESSMENT. On pages 61-63 you will see a chart reflecting A Life Driven by Problems, Purpose or Promise. Take time to reflect upon these descriptions, circle or make notes on those descriptions that resonate with you and your frame of mind or behavior today. Use this to do a self assessment.

Tips & Suggestions:

1.  If your ministry members fall behind in their reading, encourage them to still come to each session and participate fully.
2.  Foster participation by getting volunteers to read excerpts, scriptures and do prayers.
3.  Let them know that you are using a guide so they can see how easy it is to lead or facilitate a reading group.
4.  Foster sharing but manage time and be mindful that people have other commitments.
5.  If you are doing this via conference call, ask permission to record session as a way of allowing others to catch up should they miss but also to share testimonies and discussions to inspire others.
6.  Meetings should end at a pre-determined time – officially, even if members might wish to stay back and fellowship. This will encourage future participation from those who are squeezed for time.
7.  Weekly discussions are to discuss the prescribed activities, answer any questions that might emerge and to share the powerful testimonies that are born out of this transformative 49-day journey.

 Ground Rules:

•  One conversation at a time – Respect each other.
•  Confidentiality – Unless it is a personal testimony and we know that the person doesn’t mind sharing with others, please respect each other’s privacy.
•  God is a God of order!! – Discussion of first chapters first. Please don’t jump ahead during discussions.
•  Full commitment/participation is required – do this journey with all you’ve got and come to meetings enthusiastic and ready to participate.
•  Apply what you read to all areas of your life – STARTING with yourself first!
•  ACCOUNTABILITY – get a PROMISE PARTNER in our group and decide to be accountable for all you commit to during this journey.

Below are a few of the suggestions group members gave at our first session on how to approach this experience:

“While reading Promise Driven Life have a dictionary along with the Bible”
“Keep the Bible near by “
“Pray before hand in order to be clear with your thoughts and intentions”
“Read in a quiet place”
“Pace yourself”
“Read out loud…helps with understanding”
“Think about what you read…don’t just read casually”
“Highlight important sections and points”
“Read from a “Me” perspective”

Feel free to share these with your group and you might even want to ask them for any additional suggestions. The more we can learn from each other the better.

Have fun with this life transforming experience.