· What are they? Virtual small groups whose purpose is to nurture our new friends.
· How? Through an online meeting platform like Zoom, Go-to-meeting, Microsoft Team, or Google Hangouts. There may some costs involved depending on the plan that you and your VBW's decide on.
· Why a virtual meeting? In today’s environment, the likelihood of having people attend a virtual meeting is far higher than having them go to someone’s house for Bible study. It’s a perfect environment for shy people who can still be present without being seen.
· How often should the HA community meet? I would recommend it once a week and no less than every two weeks. As the people in the community become comfortable with one another, let them decide how often the HA community should meet.
· How long should the meeting be? At first, I would go no more than 30 minutes. Short and sweet. As the community gels, go longer but probably no more than 60 minutes.
· Who should be part of the HA community? First of all, the HA community should be no larger than 12 people. If it grows beyond, multiply into two groups. Each HA community should always be comprised of a solid core group of Virtual Bible Workers with one of them serving as the host/facilitator.
· Can a church have more than one HA community? Absolutely. The number of HA communities is determined by the number of active interests that you are following up.
· What happens during the meeting? Prayer and Bible study. Since prayer is one of the key things that connected us with our new friends, a time of prayer is essential. By the way, I’m not talking about long drawn-out yawn-inspiring prayers. Prayer time done well is dynamic and engaging (I’ll share more details on this in an upcoming update). After having gone through the Hope Awakens series, there’s so much stuff to review and talk about and so many questions to answer (I’ll also give you more details on that in an upcoming update). While making the community a spiritual journey, don’t leave the fun out of it.
· When will the HA communities be launched? The ideal time to have the first HA community meeting is as soon as the Hope Awakens series if over. That’s why you need to organize your HA communities this week and early next week so that you’ll be ready to invite before the Hope Awakens series ends in order to have your first HA community meeting the week after May 16. Sample invitation scripts and a suggested meeting order will be provided.
· Will it be promoted? Yes. John will introduce the Hope Awakens communities during some of his presentations (he may even interview someone who is going to be facilitating one). A good motivator for people to join a HA community will be a free Great Controversy book – the book that was instrumental in John’s conversion (he’ll share his testimony on May 16). Contact me about buying the IIW Great Controversy with a foreword by John.
· What’s the ultimate goal of these HA communities? The goal is to build lasting friendships that lead people to a saving knowledge of God and to become part of the Seventh-day Adventist church family.