What are Journey Groups?
Journey groups are small groups of no more than 10 people that are focused on becoming disciples who make disciples who make disciples.
When will they meet?
Journey groups can meet any time and anywhere. You and your group will decide. You can meet at someone's house, at a restaurant or coffee shop, or at the church. You can meet before work, after work or during lunch. Generally, groups will meet for about an hour, but the time is up to you. If you and your group would like childcare provided by the church, you will need to meet on Wednesday nights between 5-7 pm or Sunday nights between 4-6 pm.
How big will they be?
Groups can be as small as you and another person, but we strongly encourage they be no larger than 10 people. Ideally, groups will be between 3-5 people.
How long will they last?
The material is designed for a group to go through together over the course of a year. However, it may take your group longer than a year to complete.
Will the church provide the materials?
We will provide materials for leaders and participants. There may be a small charge for participant guides, but we will never let the cost of materials keep anyone from being part of a disciple making group.
How is this different from Sunday School?
This is not replacing Sunday School! Sunday School will still be the primary weekly small group Bible study. Journey Groups will focus on making disciples who make disciples. As your group approaches the midpoint of your time together, every group member will be challenged to begin praying about who they will disciple the following year.
Will we still have short-term Bible studies on Wednesday nights?
Yes! There will be topical short term studies on Wednesday nights and other times throughout the week.
How will leaders be trained?
Leaders will be invited to participate in an online webinar that will give an overview of the material and strategy. Leaders will receive an email each week with links to training videos, as well as specific coaching and encouragement from our staff. We will also have monthly checkup meetings with all leaders to pray together and encourage one another.
Can students do this too?
Yes! While this will not replace Wednesday evening small groups, we will provide opportunities for students to participate in Journey groups. There is a student version of the material. All it takes is one willing disciple and one willing disciple maker.
Does everyone in my group have to be a member of our church?
No! You may be working on building a relationship with a neighbor or a coworker. You can lead them through this material. The study plan does assume the people in the group have made a profession of faith in Christ, but they do not have to be FBC Prattville members.
What if people want to start a group later in the year?
Awesome. They will start at the beginning of the material, but all the same training and coaching will be provided to them as well.
Why should we do this?
When FBC Prattville initially launched Journey groups, we gave four biblical reasons every believer should be making disciples:
- God's Word commands it. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus said "Go and make disciples of all nations... teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. In addition, 2 Timothy 2:2 says, "What you have heard from me, commit to faithful people who will be able to teach others also."
- It's one of the markers of spiritual maturity. When we are mature, we reproduce. It's true in biology and it's true in the church. The writer of Hebrews clearly expected that mature Christians would be teaching others when he wrote: "by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness" (see Hebrews 5:11-14).
- Making disciples is not up to the staff of the church. Ephesians 4:11-15 teaches that the role of the ministers in a church is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. The work of the ministry is to make disciples. That doesn't mean the staff is exempt from making disciples...it just means their primary job is to help you do it. Think of it this way: Shepherds don't make sheep. Sheep make sheep!
- It brings joy to Jesus. Did you know the only place in Scripture where Jesus is explicitly described as being joyful is when the 72 returned from their preaching and teaching mission (see Luke 10:17-21)? Jesus is filled with joy when ordinary, everyday people are engaged in the mission of making disciples!
Still have questions? Email Bro. Travis, and we will do our best to get an answer to you.