Open Training Recap

On Sunday, October 17 we are beginning a new sermon series called Open. We will be talking about being open to what God wants to do in our lives through giving and generosity. This is an important series for our church and Pastor Matt Miofsky will be sharing the vision for the next few years of our church.

Each week's sermon will talk about being open to God, but also about growing in generosity. Some of us, or members of our groups, have baggage around how churches talk about money. That's ok! Our hope is that throughout this series you will engage with the topic in an open and honest way.

It can be tricky to navigate conversations around money and giving in groups. So we wanted to answer some frequently asked questions and offer some tips for leading your group throughout this sermon series.

My group doesn’t want to talk about money for 5 weeks. Can we do something else instead? Or my group doesn’t talk about the sermons - we are using a different curriculum, so we won’t be doing the Open discussion questions.
  • This is not just a series about money, it is also about the vision for our church going forward.
  • Every time we do a series like this many people share how it is a turning point in their commitment to the church and their personal discipleship. The same could be true for members of your group.
  • We think there is power in having the entire church engage in this conversation about our future. The invitation is for all of us to consider where we are headed together, and our individual roles in building that future. 
  • You are contagious. Your positivity and openness to the conversation can go a long way in encouraging hesitant members of your group. 

There are a couple of individuals in my group that are really resistant to talking about money. How do I handle their negativity?
  • We talk about generosity because Jesus talked about money and possessions more than any other topic. Giving is part of what it means to follow Jesus.
  • It can be life changing to consider our finances through the lens of our faith. Creating space for people to wrestle and be uncomfortable can lead to transformation for your group members.

I have someone in my group that is new to The Gathering. I don’t want them to get turned off by our group talking about giving.
  • When a new person attends The Gathering for the first time, we don’t say, “If you’re new, don’t feel like you have to pray with us.”! Whether you’ve been attending for years, or have only been at The Gathering for a week, we welcome you into the full life of the church and encourage them to participate in our Five Shared Practices: Worship, Prayer, Learning in CoreGroup, Serving and Giving.

Someone in my group is experiencing financial difficulties and it seems uncomfortable to talk about giving …
We don't expect you to have all the answers. You don't have to explain or justify the vision set forward by the church. Your role is to simply create space for conversation. If you need further support feel free to reach out to Executive Director of Ministries Sabra Engelbrecht or your site pastor.

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