sunday night was our first "gathering". this is a group of high school and college students where we want to be Jesus to them and show them the relevance of a relationship with him in this world.
so the first one went like this:
we had 5 people (other than avanti workers)
we played some "get to know you games"
we told them our goals:
- relaxed/supportive environment where they feel comfortable to talk about the difficult and wonderful things about life and where they want to come back and bring their friends
- place to form close relationships with other people their age
- a place to practice their english
- a place of spiritual encouragement even though everyone there doesn't believe the same things we want to share the love and hope of Jesus with them and we want them to see the relevance of him in our lives today and how he changes our lives through that relationship with him
- we want them to eventually take ownership of the group and initiate activities and growth
- we want to serve in the community together and learn the significance of putting others before self
- we want to have fun together and display everyones skills, talents, and creativity
we talked about the video's message
we ate and mingled and got to know everyone
it was AWESOME
obviously, our main goal when forming this group was evangelism, but there has to be something drawing them in that pushes them to come hang out with us over the other things they could be doing so...
we are going to have a monthly rotation of activities:
1st sunday of every month: reading. we are going to read an inspirational story, an excerpt from a book, something we can all relate to, and then tie it to a scripture and discuss it.
2nd sunday of every month: singing. we are going to sing some in english, some in italian, translate some american worship songs into italian, teach parts, and practice our new songs.
3rd sunday of every month: video. we are going to watch rob bell's NOOMA videos.
4th sunday of every month: share your talent. we will take turns volunteering to teach the group something that we are good at. cooking, drawing, playing an instrument, singing, knitting...anything people want to share to demonstrate their special, god-given talents.
some verses that emphasize our mission for this group:
philippians 1:9-11 & 2:1-5
1 timothy 4:13
1 peter 4:10
please pray for us (the avanti members) as the leaders (for now) of this group and that our motives will always be for God's will as we begin these new friendships