Been itching to gather a like minded community? Here are some guidelines you can think about before starting out!
Starting an Interest Group
1. What kind of Interest and hobbies are permitted?
- Recognize Interest Groups are a representation for our church. Therefore, it is best to avoid activities that may not be aligned to Christian values (gambling, activities with promiscuous elements, etc.) or may give a wrong idea of our stance as believers (activities with woke agendas, social drinking, etc.)
- There are plenty of wholesome, fun, inclusive activities which are generally encouraged (e.g. crafts, outings, sports, etc.)
2. When do we make an Interest Group ‘official’?
- Three or four church members who are consistently involved.
- When there is a regular frequency of the IG meet ups. (e.g. minimally once every four months)
- There is a intention to invite oikos.
- The is an appointed champion for the IG.
3. What is the role of the IG ‘champion’?
- Champions are to be point persons of contact for the Interest group and admins for the IG Whatsapp Communities Group chat
- Champions should initiate the meetups with regularity
4. How to make the IG ‘official’?
- Fill out this form with the following information:
- Type of IG activity
- Location of IG activity
- Frequency/Intensity of IG activities
- Any equipment or attire required?
keeping the interest group going
1. How do interested members sign up?
- Each IG will have a chat group added onto the “WRPF whatsapp communities channel”. There will also be information about each IG on the church website.
- Church Members are to sign up through a request via the QR/links to the WhatsApp community group. Regular oikos guests can also be added into the chat.
2. How frequent should the IG activities be?
- The frequency of the Interest Group is to be initiated by the Champion/regular members. Frequency may depend on the particular interest. The idea is to maintain regular touch points with oikos.
- It is recommended to set a time frame for the life of the IG (suggested: 1 year, for 2023 & to be reviewed after)
3. How do we follow up with the Oikos guests?
- Encourage church members who are part of the IG to go through the “Sharing life Oikos guide”
- Use the opportunity to invite them to church evangelistic events (upcoming: Alpha course & Christmas evangelistic event)
The Heart of an ‘Interest Group’
Create a welcoming environment
oikos groups should be welcoming and inclusive. Members should make an effort to greet and get to know each other and invited guests. This can include fellowship over pre/post-activity meals or snacks, engaging in icebreakers/introductions for new joiners, and creating a welcoming space for guests.
as missional Christians we recognize the power of prayer for our non-believer friends and loved ones. Members should be encouraged to share their prayer requests.
Share personal testimonies
oikos outreaches provide an opportunity for members to share their personal testimonies. Testimonies can be a powerful way to share the gospel and encourage others of the faith.
Serve the community
as missional Christians we should look for opportunities to serve the community. This can include volunteering to organize the event or support in different ways. Serving together can strengthen relationships and demonstrate the love of Christ to others.
Remember an interest Group is only a means to an end. We can be proactive by inviting oikos guests to church evangelistic events/services and/or meeting up with them in a smaller group to share life or explore faith.