CONNECT GROUP
LEADER RESOURCES

Fall 2022 Schedule

Fall 2022 Curriculum Options

Leaders have the freedom to choose the curriculum that best suits their group. With that in mind, we do suggest planning at least 8 weeks together, as it may take time for genuine bonds to be formed - especially in newly formed groups! Below you will find a few options for 8 weeks of content.
Option 1 - The Chosen Season 1 or Season 2  (8 weeks each)
The Chosen is a multi-season series about the life of Jesus. Each episode dives deeper into the life of Jesus and those who followed him.
Option 2 - Jesus's Farewell Message (6 weeks) & Just Ask (2 weeks)
Do you know Jesus? It’s one thing to know facts about him, but to experience his love, wisdom, and guidance in your life is what it means to follow him. On the night before he was crucified, Jesus invited his disciples into a deep relationship with the triune God—and his invitation stands for us too. In this 6-part series, Francis Chan dives into John 13–17, a passage rich in promises, commands, and eternal truths. He’ll remind us we aren’t called to a part-time faith—we were made to know, walk with, and commune with God.
Do you run to prayer—or run away from it? How would you describe your prayer life? In this two-session series, learn how to overcome your hesitations and insecurities about praying. Pastor J.D. Greear explores the way Jesus taught us to pray and how he approached prayer to his Father. See how Jesus encourages us to pray often, boldly, and with expectation.
Option 3 - Jesus In the Secular World (8 weeks)
In the Jesus in the Secular World small group study, Ben Pierce combines vivid illustrations from years of front-line ministry with practical Biblical principles for how we can reach the secular world.

This 8-part series is designed to give you an in-depth understanding of the secular mindset, inspire personal revival, and equip you with practical next steps to engage the secular world with the powerful Gospel message relevantly.
Option 4 - The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry (5 weeks) & Dangerous Prayers (3 weeks)
We are all busy. Some of us can't remember the last time we rested or even had free time. Our busyness can feel productive but it is a toxic distraction, sapping our spiritual, physical, and emotional vitality. It may seem like we have no choice but to live at a frantic pace, but God has a better path for us.

Join pastor and author John Mark Comer in this five-part series as he addresses one of the greatest threats to our spiritual lives: hurry. Instead of allowing our calendars and screens to control our lives, Jesus offers us a new rhythm of life, overflowing with grace, peace, and beauty.
The Dangerous Prayers series is all about helping move people to pray the prayers that will move the heart of God. Over three weeks, Pastor Craig will explain why some prayers are ineffective, what it really means to trust God with what we ask for, and how to pray for the miracles that require a God-sized faith. While the series will kick off right after the release of the book of the same name, the series will cover different content than what’s included in the book.
Option 5 - The Beatitudes (9 weeks)
In the book of Matthew Jesus traveled throughout Galilee, teaching, serving, and healing among the people. Large crowds began to gather and people from all over started following him. Then Jesus went up a mountainside and taught us a message that would change everything. This nine-week series from Church of the Highlands works through Jesus's lessons taught in The Sermon on the Mount.

Accessing The Chosen Series

Accessing the Videos

You can access The Chosen Series Season One in the web or on the mobile app.

  • Watch for free on The Chosen website
  • Watch for free in The Chosen mobile app
    • You can get it here: www.thechosen.tv/app or search "The Chosen" in your Apple or Android app store.
From the app, you can stream to your TV using another device, such as Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, Chromecast, etc.

Watching the Chosen on Your TV

From The Chosen app (on your smartphone or tablet), you can stream to your TV using one of the following devices:

Chromecast
iOS
Fire TV / Fire Stick
Android TV
Roku
Samsung Smart TV (Android only)
The process is simple:
  1. Make sure your TV is ready and that it's connected to the same internet as your mobile device.
  2. Click the 'Cast' button. It's available in two places: on the main screen in the top right corner, OR in the watch screen after you've hit play.
  3. Clicking either will bring up a list of your devices to choose from.
OR
4. Choose your device and follow the prompts to cast it up to your TV.
5. To stop casting, click on the cast icon again.

If streaming from the app does not work with your TV, we do have another suggestion!
Many people have had success connecting a laptop to their TV using an HDMI cable.  
Here's what an HDMI cable looks like:

First Meeting Checklist

Here are some steps you can take to ensure a successful start to your group!

  • Test streaming the video episodes from your phone, tablet, or computer to your TV. 
  • Send a message to group members reminding them about the first meeting. 
  • Set up a welcoming environment and be ready for group members to arrive.  If possible, have group members sit in a circle or at least facing one another.  It is important to create an environment for natural conversation.
  • Review the discussion material and have a plan to help get people talking! Each meeting should consist of the following:
    1. Casual Fellowship - Laid back time for group members to talk and get to know each other.
    2. Spiritual Growth - This is where the biggest chunk of time should be spent! The focus of the meeting should always be to watch the curriculum and discuss together.
    3. Prayer- Ask for prayer requests from group members and pray at the beginning and the end of each group meeting.
  • Start and end on time. It's important to be respectful of everyones time! 

Tips For Leading a Healthy Group

Facilitating Healthy Group Dynamics

There are a few key things you can do as a leader that will help create healthy group dynamics.

  • Set Expectations - Take time to share how the group will flow from week to week.  This can include things like explaining the times you will begin and end the group, how discussion or group activities will happen, and how group members can share prayer requests or best engage in the group.
  • Follow the 70-30 Rule  - Give the members of your group room to speak up instead of doing all the talking yourself.  About 70% of the talking should come from members and 30% from the leader.
  • Keep Discussion Positive - If conversation takes a negative or destructive turn, guide it back to a healthy place.  Keep the atmosphere respectful and pleasant.
  • Keep the Conversation Relevant to Everyone  - Remember people in your group will be at different places in their spiritual journey and possibly different stages in life.  Be thoughtful when you talk about spiritual concepts or church terms that might be unfamiliar to new Christians or church-goers.
  • Respect Boundaries -  Men should minister to men and women should minister to women.  A couple may minister to a single person.  We want to maintain integrity and purity in our Connect Groups.  These boundaries will help protect the leaders and group members from entering an uncomfortable or inappropriate situation.

Facilitating Discussion

Establishing relationship among group members has a strong influence on participation in discussion.  The contact of group members beyond the small group gathering will produce a willingness to participate.

  • Emphasize the Importance of Trust  -  The chief agreement within the Connect Group should be that anything said is being shared in confidence.  If any member feels as though their trust has been broken or that they cannot speak openly about their lives, they will be hesitant to share within the group.
  • Develop Ground Rules  -  It is important the group members know that everyone has a right to speak and that everyone appreciates their thoughts.  Involvement in discussion peaks when group members feel that there are no “wrong” answers.  Some rules to consider for effective discussion include:
    • Everyone should listen respectfully to others (even if they disagree)
    • The person who speaks should not be interrupted
    • No more than one person should speak at the same time
    • No one should make fun of another group member’s ideas
    • If you disagree with someone, disagree with their ideas, but don’t attack the person.
    • Try to understand other group members as much as you want them to understand you.
  • Be Curious  -  Actively listen to those that are speaking and ask follow up questions to discover what is going on in their lives.  Involve the entire group by asking open-ended questions, such as:  What does everyone else think?  Who agrees or disagrees?  Why? to facilitate continued discussion.
  • Reflect on Discussion -  Leaders should constantly evaluate the effectiveness of discussion.  Take a few minutes to reflect on the evening after everyone departs.  A few questions you may consider asking include:
    • What went well in the discussion?  How do you know?
    • What was difficult in the discussion?  Why?
    • Did everyone have a chance to participate?  If not, did they feel welcome to share?

Signs of a Healthy Group

Signs you are leading a healthy Connect Group include:

  • Genuine friendships being formed
  • Members regularly engaging in conversation
  • Members openly sharing prayer needs

A few simple ways you can lead a successful Connect Group would be by doing the following:

  • Facilitate friendship through laughter and by creating an enjoyable, fun environment.
  • Consider partnering with a co-leader to help share the responsibility of caring for and leading your group.
  • Pray daily for the members of your group
  • Connect with group members outside of weekly meetings through phone, email, text, social media, or face-to-face interactions.  Encourage group members to connect with each other throughout the week as well.
  • Respect people’s time by beginning and ending your group on time and keeping a consistent meeting time.
  • Be prepared for your Connect Group meetings by reviewing the materials ahead of time.
  • Invite group members to attend church services and events with you.  
  • Rally the group around a member going through a crisis, while at the same time using wisdom and being sensitive.

Serve Together

Nothing brings a group together faster than serving others. It is our goal that each Connect Group would complete a community service project together. Ideas include:

  • Making meals for those who are sick or shut in
  • Contact the City to coordinate a park/city clean-up project
  • Contact the nursing home to find ways to serve the elderly
  • Take baked goods to the local police & sheriff offices or hospital staff

Taking Attendance

Each group leader will need to take attendance at each group meeting.