The Participant Guide is a workbook to facilitate the layperson’s experience as the church studies Get Their Name. It includes group and individual activities, and personal devotional material.
Church leaders and members should all read the original Get Their Name book during the month of this church-wide experience.
About the Author
Bob Farr is director of congregational excellence in the Missouri Conference of The United Methodist Church. Frequent speaker and seminar leader, he is also the author of Get Their Name and Renovate or Die: 10 Ways to Focus Your Church on Mission, both co-authored with Kay Kotan, published by Abingdon Press.
Kay Kotan is a credentialed coach, church consultant, speaker and author. She serves as the Director of the Center for Equipping Vital Congregations for the Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Read an Excerpt
Get Their Name Participant Workbook
Grow Your Church by Building New Relationships
By BOB FARR, KAY KOTAN
Abingdon PressCopyright © 2016 Abingdon Press
All rights reserved.
Week One 1
DO YOU KNOW YOUR OWN STORY?
Loving Father, we come to you today with open hearts and open minds. We ask that our time together be filled with the Holy Spirit and guided by you in our learning today. We are your clay; mold us into being your disciples to reach new people so that they may know and serve you. In Jesus's name we pray. Amen.
Why did you choose to join the group?
What do you hope to take away from this study?
Come close and listen,
all you who honor God;
I will tell you what God has done for me:
My mouth cried out to him
with praise on my tongue.
— Psalm 66:16-17
Group Discussion Questions
1. What is your first impression about the video? What intrigues you? Challenges you?
2. What is your faith story? Would you share it with the group? If you don't have one, how will you begin to develop yours? Where will you begin to practice sharing it in safe places?
3. How is your church doing at reaching new people on a regular basis?
4. How are you personally doing at engaging people in new relationships outside the church? What is working well? What are your challenges? Share a story about a new relationship.
5. Review the steps for relational evangelism listed below. Where are you doing well in the process? Where are you stuck? What might help you move to the next step?
Get names and start conversations with three new people this week. If you aren't comfortable with three, try two. In the upcoming week, answer the questions for personal reflection you see below. Next week, we will talk about our experiences with this homework.
Father God, thank you for the presence of your Holy Spirit this evening as we begin to think about learning to articulate our faith stories. As we leave this place, Lord, help us to see you in our everyday lives. Help us to recognize your hand at work as we go about our days. And then, dear Lord, gives us the strength and courage to begin to start conversations with people who don't know you, so that we might be able to eventually share our faith story. In your Son's name we pray. Amen.
QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
1. Where am I most comfortable building new relationships and having the opportunity to share my story? Do I need to create new places? If so, where? When will I go?
2. What are obstacles that keep me from building new relationships, if any? How might I overcome them? Why is it important to overcome them?
3. What difference would it make in my life if I began to build relationships with new people and share my story? What difference might it make in the world?
Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I will never be thirsty and will never need to come here to draw water!"
— John 4:13-15CHAPTER 2
THE PERSON BEHIND THE NEED
Oh, merciful and loving God, we seek you in our lives and our group today. As we work through our questions, urge us, encourage us, stretch us, and challenge us in seeing the unchurched in a new light. Help us to see all people as your people. Help us to take the step beyond serving to actually "being" with all your people. In Jesus's name we pray. Amen.
REVIEW OF HOMEWORK
1. Share about the new conversations you started with people you didn't know this past week. Where did you see God working in opening up those opportunities to start conversations?
2. What were some of the outcomes? Wins? Challenges?
3. What came up for you while working through your personal reflection questions?
Therefore, go and make new disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I've commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.
— Matthew 28:19-20
Group Discussion Questions
1. What are your reflections on the video today? What intrigues you? What challenges you?
2. Why is it important to build relationships with those we serve?
3. What impact might we have as a church if we practice relationship building along with serving?
4. What would it take to shift this service into relational evangelism? What types of ministries create opportunities to build meaningful relationships that may lead to faith sharing?
5. Are there ministries we might have to stop in order to have the resources (time, energy, dollars, people) to practice servant evangelism (the heart of what God calls the church to do)? What are your thoughts about this?
Note: Part of becoming more comfortable in sharing our faith story is also learning to pray with and for others. For the rest of the sessions, take turns giving the closing prayer. This is great practice!
Spend time in prayer and reflection over the next week considering where your church might be able to shift current service opportunities into relationship-building opportunities. In the upcoming week, answer the questions for personal reflection you see below. Be prepared to share your thoughts next week.
QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
1. How are you doing with developing your faith story? What needs work? Who have you shared it with to practice? Are you ready to share it with a new person with whom you have developed a relationship when the appropriate time comes?
2. Where is a place that you can personally serve and also build a relationship?
3. What challenges you about this lesson? What excites you about this lesson?
4. How is the Holy Spirit working on you through this group study experience?
Brothers and sisters, we ask you to respect those who are working with you, leading you, and instructing you. Think of them highly with love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are disorderly. Comfort the discouraged. Help the weak. Be patient with everyone. Make sure no one repays a wrong with a wrong, but always pursue the good for each other and everyone else. Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in every situation because this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Don't suppress the Spirit. Don't brush off Spirit-inspired messages, but examine everything carefully and hang on to what is good.
— 1 Thessalonians 5:12-21
Excerpted from Get Their Name Participant Workbook by BOB FARR, KAY KOTAN. Copyright © 2016 Abingdon Press. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
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Table of Contents
Week One: Do You Know Your Own Story?,
Week Two: The Person behind the Need,
Week Three: Being an Everyday Christian,
Week Four: Are You Prepared?,