Deepen Group Information
Deepen: Show and Tell Deepen Groups are back for 2013!
If you are looking to find your place at Highlands or build community, we encourage you to consider being a part of a Deepen Group! There are over 120 individuals who are currently a part of a Deepen Group and we would love for you to be as well.
Q: What are Deepen Groups?
Deepen Groups are small groups of people who gather regularly to grow deeper with God and each other. These groups are created and facilitated by individuals in the church. Each Deepen Group looks and feels different as some groups study sermon questions, some focus on different topics, others focus on specific books in the Bible, and others follow God’s calling to focus on something completely unique to those in their group. The more individuals who want to facilitate, the more groups there are! Highlands sees Deepen Groups as an opportunity for individuals in the church to connect in meaningful ways and to live out what it means to develop a deep relationship with God. You can choose to facilitate a group or participate in a group. If you are interested in participating, sign-ups will begin in Spring of 2013 and spots will be filled on an on-going basis, so sign up early!
Q: How do I particiapte in a Deepen Group?
Q: What does being a facilitator entail?
-Fill out a profile for your group by completing this form.
-You decide on a day, the time (about 90 min.), and the location
-You host a group of 8-12 people each week (ideally) or every other week (if you have kids and think every other week will work better)
-You help to facilitate your group towards whatever you want the purpose of your group to be. This could be a book study, a Bible study, or a discussion that builds off of the Sunday sermon to allow people to dig deeper into the message, form deeper relationships with each other, and grow deeper spiritually with God - we will provide questions that build off the sermon for you!
Q: What do I need to do to prepare for facilitating?
If you are leading your own topic, you will need to prep whatever you determine is necessary for the week. If you choose to use the sermon series questions, each week, you will receive an email with questions from the Sunday sermons to look over and determine which questions would be best to talk about in your group for that week.
Q: What if I don't think that I am qualified to facilitate?
Highlands will provide sessions that are designed to flow naturally and can be led with confidence by anyone with a desire to learn more about Jesus Christ. While you do not have to use these, they provide a great guide to lead you and your group into deep discussion. At times, the groups may even feel like they’re leading themselves! The study is flexible. Each session takes about 60-75 minutes to complete the content and facilitate the desired experiences. Facilitators do not need to be experts at the Bible nor do they need to be trained teachers. Facilitators serve as “discovery guides,” encouraging discussion, questions, and listening.
Q: What if I have kids and want to participate?
We have learned that Deepen Groups with kids can be challenging. We want to do everything that we can to make Deepen Groups a reality for everyone, especially those individuals with kids. Here are some suggestions that we have:
- Have one adult each week watch the kids
- Meet on alternating weeks
- Have the kids participate in the Deepen Group time
Q: What if I am already part of a group?
If you are a part of a group and you meet in intentional ways to grow deeper with each other and God, let us know so that we can support you and your group!
Q: What if I know someone who might be interes in facilitating?
Facilitating a small group was a completely new experience for George and I. In fact, neither of us had ever really attended a formal bible study (or similar sort of group). Not only did we love being a part of such a great group, we really enjoyed hosting! We have made such amazing friends through our deepen group and it has really helped us build a sense of community at Highlands church. With it being a large church, it feels great to show up on Sunday morning and be greeted by friends. Also, we have been guilty in the past of letting our busy lives interfere with our scripture reading and study. So, our deepen group was a great way of holding us accountable to our weekly devotional time with God. I know George and I felt connected to the scripture and able to delve "deeper" into the weekly sermons with greater perspective than we might have otherwise. Through the deepen groups we feel more grounded in our church and in our study of the bible. We would encourage others (even those who have never led or never thought they could) to prayerfully consider facilitating a deepen group. We think you'll love it!
I'm happy to be continuing as participant and co-facilitator (along with the wonderful Claire Skougor) of a Deepen Group. Participation in Deepen has allowed me to get to know some great people in our congregation that I might otherwise not have met, to be more connected to the Highlands Church community, and to have a greater appreciation of the paths that other people have taken in their journeys with God, faith, community and church. Serving as a co-facilitator provides the extra satisfaction of feeling that I'm contributing (in an easy way) to the life of Highlands Church and to making it a welcoming place for others.