Here is a one-page summary of the changes and enhancements we are making to our Lighthouse Ministry for the 2013-14 year starting in September. Many of these changes are the result of your feedback.
Teaching & Communications Enhancements
- NEW Weekly Sermon Handout—each week we will insert a handout in the worship folder that will tightly coordinate the sermon with the lighthouse discussion guide. Folks will be encouraged to take notes during the sermon, and these notes will help prepare them for the group discussion.
- NEW Weekly Lighthouse Discussion Guide—each week every attender of First Family will receive a Discussion Guide as part of his or her worship folder. The discussion guild will help prepare members for their group discussion time and will closely sync with the major theme of each week’s message.
- NEW Weekly Leader Guide—each week we will provide detailed discussion notes for lighthouse leaders to help them prepare to lead the discussion during their Lighthouse meeting.
- NEW Weekly Leader Podcast—in addition to The Extra Point Podcast, which provides some extra insight into the weekly message, we will also provide a Group Leader Insiders podcast that will walk you through each week’s unique themes and lesson points as well as provide our leaders with added insight into what is happening at First Family Church.
- NEW Lighthouse Ministry Website—to help coordinate the information tied to the Lighthouse Ministry, we have developed a ministry-focused website located at groups.ffclife.com. This site will host digital copies of all the resources connected to our Lighthouse Ministry.
- NEW Faithlife Study Bible—to provide a better study environment for our church family, FFC has adopted the FaithLife Study Bible to replace YouVersion as our digital Bible app. FaithLife is developed by Logos Bible Software and tightly integrates with both Logos and Proclaim, the projection application we use for our public services. You can learn more about the FaithLife Study Bible at www.ffclife.com/bible.
- NEW FFC Connect Online Community—this is a private social network for First Family that will assist us in managing the day-to-day relationships that combine to create First Family Church. From children’s checkin to online giving to our church-wide calendar to group management, FFC Connect will help carry the conversation forward the assist in building close relationships within First Family.
- CHANGE Review & Preview Groups—in the past, we have given each leader a choice whether they will preview the coming week’s teaching in their Lighthouse or review the prior week’s teaching. As First Family grows to multiple campuses and a teaching team approach with Todd and Carlos, it is important that everyone is on the same page. As a result, we need every Lighthouse to be a review group.
- CHANGE Curriculum Publication Schedule—our teaching team will meet weekly to coordinate the theme and key points of each week’s message and group curriculum. The teaching resources will be available to Lighthouse Leader on Thursday afternoon of each week. The curriculum will coordinate for the following Sunday’s message. This means that if you lead a Lighthouse on Sunday evening, you will have three days to finalize your lesson for your Lighthouse. Given the resources we are providing, this should be ample time.
In addition to the changes above, we are also ceasing publication of the Weekly Study Notes and the Weekly Compass. Based on feedback from our Lighthouse Leaders, few were using these resources on a consistent basis.
Accountability & Mentoring Changes
Lighthouse Ministry is the hub of the ministry at First Family. As a leadership team, if we had to counsel a family to choose between attending a weekend service or a weekly Lighthouse, we would encourage Lighthouse participation. It’s that critical. Discipleship and spiritual growth happen within the safe environment of a small group of people praying for one another, holding each other accountable, studying the Bible together, and fellowshipping together.
To help enhance the shepherding and care of our church family, there needs to be a strong channel of communication between Lighthouse Leaders and our Elders. To help facilitate stronger communication, we are introducing the following feedback forms:
- Weekly Attendance & Prayer Form—this will be part of our new FFC Connect, and online community for First Family. In addition to maintaining your group rosters, leaders will be able to easily communicate with their group members, maintain a calendar of group-related events, and easily communicate via feedback forms with their assigned elder.
- Monthly Leader Feedback Form—this form is completed by each Lighthouse Leader and will provide a summary of what is happening in each Lighthouse to the elder overseeing your group. This will also be an opportunity for each leader to communicate with their Elder and ensure the Elder is aware of any problems or concerns with a group.
- Quarterly Group Feedback Form—this form is completed by Lighthouse members and will provide each leader and their elder feedback on the overall health of individual groups.
- Elder Evaluation Form—this form will give the Lighthouse leaders the opportunity to provide timely feedback to their elders regarding the personal mentoring relationship between an elder and his assigned group leaders.