Preparing For The First Meeting
Preparing For The First Meeting
The first order of business is to determine the members, size, and makeup of the Community.
The Community should consist of:
Members. All believers - While no particular age range or level of spiritual maturity (or Christian experience) should be the overarching criterion for inclusion in your Community, but given that the objectives of Choose the Life are only obtainable by Christians, it is assumed that each member of any particular Choose the Life Community is already a Christian.
Make-up. 2 to 6 members (optimally) - The Guide can also be used a discussion guide for leading larger groups through an exploration of Choose the Life (see, Overview: Choose The Life 10 Week Study, Its Pattern).
Materials. The Book, the Guide, the DVD - Once the membership of the Community is established, each member should acquire a copy of the book, Choose the Life: Exploring a Faith that Embraces Discipleship, and the course guide, a disciple’s guide to Choose the Life. In addition the Community needs to acquire the course DVD entitled: a DVD guide to Choose the Life. The DVD features Bill Hull, the author of Choose the Life, introducing each week’s core thought, key ideas and concepts. These materials must be available to each member at least one week prior to the first Community Meeting.
This brings us to the second order of business: When and where the Community will meet.
The members of the Community need to establish when and where the Community will have its weekly meeting. Bear in mind that it will require about 90 minutes from start-to-finish to accomplish all that is to be done at the Community Meeting. What matters most in setting the time of these meetings is that all of the members are able to make this accommodation. As you will learn in the course of this journey, the commitment to Community is essential to your own personal transformation. Therefore it is imperative that all members be present, and able to contribute, each time the Community meets.
In selecting the location of your meeting, choose a site that will allow for the fewest possible interruptions, confidential conversation, and ease of access. After consensus is reached, write the start date and meeting time, and the location in the appropriate space provided on the “Choose the Life: Community Purpose and Covenant” in Appendix One of your Guide.
Having determined the Community’s membership and meeting location and time, the members of the newly formed Community need to clearly state and affirm their commitment to accomplishing what is stated in their Purpose and Covenant. We have included a covenant (see Choose the Life: Community Purpose and Covenant in Appendix One of this Guide) and each member should read, sign, and turn-in the Covenant at their first Community Meeting.
The final order of business in preparation for your first Community Meeting is for each Community member to read Dallas Willard’s “Foreword” to Choose the Life (pages 6-8) and the “Preface: A Conversation Starter” (pages 9-14), and to write their answers for each Conversation Starter” (pages 9-14), and to write their answers for each of the questions posed in the Guide for the First Week’s Community Meeting.