Starting a GIG (Groups Investigating God) Seminar

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GIG training Soaring Like Eagles Conference 2017
Beth Hedges
1. You need to invite your friend to study the bible with you for 4 weeks.
Turn to the person next to you and invite them to do this with you
How did that go?
How did that feel?
Did someone say something in their invitation you want to use?
What do you wish you had said?
We will come back to this and try again later after we have done some thinking.....
2. Why do we want to help our friends look at the stories of Jesus?
What is our motivation?
Why does it matter?
3. Why the Bible?
What is it about the Bible that we want them to look at it?
Why?
What has been your own experience studying the Bible?
4. How does God see our friends who do not know him? What does He want for them?
(How do we know that he loves them and wants them to come home? Where do we see that in
the Bible)
Luke 14:1-7
3 Then Jesus told them a story. 4 He said, “Suppose one of you has 100 sheep and loses one of them.
Won’t he leave the 99 in the open country? Won’t he go and look for the one lost sheep until he finds
it? 5 When he finds it, he will joyfully put it on his shoulders 6 and go home. Then he will call his friends
and neighbors together. He will say, ‘Be joyful with me. I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you, it will
be the same in heaven. There will be great joy when one sinner turns away from sin. Yes, there will
be more joy than for 99 godly people who do not need to turn away from their sins.
When we invite our friends to look at stories of Jesus we do so because
a) God loves and cares for them and wants them to be found
b) Seeking the lost was and is important to Jesus. If we follow him then we do what he did
c) We are commanded to teach others about Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20)
d) We can participate in the party that God wants to have for the lost being found
e) It increases God's glory and honor as more people come to worship Him.
f) this kind of group can also help you grow and develop as a Jesus' follower. As you listen to the
Spirit, better understand the Bible and see Jesus at work in your friends.
5. What kind of group looking at the stories of Jesus do you NOT want to have?
So you invite your friends and they come - what kinds of things do you NOT want to happen as
you look at the stories of Jesus together?
We want the groups that are
a) Safe - that your friends feel like it is a good place to ask questions and learn, not attacked or
caught
b) Understandable - They don't need to be a pastor or a bible scholar to be a part of the discussion.
That they can be a part of the discussion even if they know very little about Jesus. You do this by
staying in the story that you are looking at, not quoting Revelation and Romans and Leviticus.
c) Useful - that is answers questions your friends have. That they see that the Bible can connect to
our lives today. That their honest questions are welcome.
d) Focused on the Bible and on Jesus - there are many different theological debates we could have.
But the center of our faith is Jesus. Try and keep the focus on Him, since some of those
theological issues even Christians struggle with - Creation and Science, Trinity, etc.
6. What needs to happen as we invite friends to look at the stories of Jesus with us?
What needs to happen in the spiritual realm? In our relationship with Jesus?
What can we do in our relationships with our friends to prepare?
What would be helpful as we are inviting our friends? (other pray, get partner)
7. What keeps us from inviting our friends to look at the stories of Jesus with us?
What can help us with these obstacles?
(fear, lack of knowledge, insecurity, friends don't know about my faith, inexperience, age
difference)
This is not the first time that God has ever shown love to our friends. He created them and has been
at work in their lives, in different ways, since before they were born. God is at work in their lives, and
that may be why we have a relationship with them. It is unbiblical to assume that God has NOT been
at work in them. It is important however to take the risk to invite people to come and see Jesus - and
then see who God brings. You may be surprised by who come and who does not come.
When we really listen to our friends we can find all kinds of ideas and issues that connect with
spiritual areas. The best invitations to look at Jesus come out of interests they have already said.
That is "Last week you mentioned that .... (you were struggling with the meaning of life, you were
wondered about how to be happy, you were angry, sick, lonely, disappointed) and I wondered if you
would be interested in getting together and see how Jesus dealt with that"
8. So if we are inviting our friend to come and look at some stories of Jesus what do
they need to know about it?
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it is a spiritual discussion
you don't need to know anything about the bible
it is meant for people who are exploring Jesus, not experts
we will be looking at stories about Jesus
this is where, when and how long we will meet
you can bring others
9. Think of a person you want to invite to this group
Have they expressed an interest in spiritual things or Jesus?
Write out an invitation to them, starting with their spiritual interest and leads to an
invitation to this bible discussion.
10. Okay some people have said yes. Now what?
What do you need to do to prepare now?
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pray
ask others to pray
pick a passage from a gospel to look at with them - try and relate it to their
spiritual interest
prepare to lead
o study the passage for yourself
o observe
o what things are confusing or require Old Testament or cultural
understanding?
o ask what does it mean (interpretation)
o ask what impact can it have today in my life
Prepare the group discussion
o pray
o write out questions to ask to help them observe and understand the story
o what personal story can you share about the truth in this passage?
o what impact question do you want to ask? (i.e. So if God answers prayer
then let's all try this out this week.)
o pray some more!
I have more resources than you will ever possible need of various different kinds of studies you
can use.
The I-GIG booklet you have has 4 studies in the back
If you don't feel those fit here is a set on the book of Luke - I just brought a sample but I can
print you a copy if you want.
See ivcf.org and then under "on campus" click evangelism
There is a whole section of what they call GIG's (groups investing God)
http://evangelism.intervarsity.org/
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