It is a gender-specific discipleship group of 4-6 people who meet every week with the primary goal of spiritual transformation. In an GO Group, men or women challenge and encourage one another to live out the Word of God in response to the grace of Jesus Christ. GO Groups revolve around obedience. In each meeting, the group will discuss how they can grow in either their relationship with God or Others (GO). At the end of every meeting every member walks out with a specific goal (or GO) to take before returning to the next meeting. At the next meeting, the group will follow up on that goal. In this way, a GO Group challenges its members to grow in the Character of Christ. A GO Group also trains it members in the Competencies of Christ. There were specific competencies Christ had to teach his disciples for them to succeed in walking with God. In the same way, GO Groups will train people how to study God’s Word, pray, resist temptation, serve, and share their faith. The final goal of a GO Group is to multiply. This happens after a group completes all 15 meetings. They pair off and become the leaders of new GO Groups, welcoming new disciples to be challenged to grow in the Character of Christ and trained in the Competencies of Christ. This multiplication propels out followers of Christ to be fishers of men or women (Matt 4:19).
We are better together. Groups are necessary for any Christian endeavor. We learn God’s Word better together. We worship better together. And we also train better together. GO Groups provide a secure environment for biblical accountability that empowers and catalyzes spiritual growth through the help of the Holy Spirit. Those who commit to the process walk out Christ-centered, realizing that the purpose of their life is to bring glory to God in all they do. A GO Group also equips its members to run the race well through the teaching and practicing of the Competencies of Christ.
GO Groups meet whenever and wherever the group decides. The standard rule of thumb is that a GO Group takes a minimum of 15 minutes per person in the group. If you have 4 people, that is a minimum of an hour. If 6, then a minimum of an hour and a half.
If you need childcare, the church can provide this on Wednesday nights from 6:30-7:30pm when school is in session. If you do need childcare, it is best to meet at the church so you don’t miss out on meeting time. In such a case, talk with a staff member about a place in the church you can meet.
An GO Group Meeting has the following structure:
- Follow Up on GO (from last meeting)
- Prepare to GO
- Pledge to GO
The objective of every meeting is to develop a step of obedience unto Christ, or a GO. This is the pinnacle of every meeting, and it will start in Meeting 2. Each member of the group is to complete their GO before the next meeting. At the next meeting, the first step is to follow up on how that GO went. The group will then start preparing for their next GO. The curriculum will supply discussion and exercises to help towards this end. After this time, each member will pledge to take a new GO, restarting the cycle. All meetings begin and end with prayer. The start of each meeting will also include a time of confession, for group members to be honest about struggles, temptations, and sin.
They meet weekly. But it is okay to miss a week here and there.
The short answer is the level of accountability. Connect Group is about experiencing the family of God and letting God Word be taught to your mind. God’s Word must be taught before it can be applied. No one will force you to share anything in a Connect Group. You will be challenged to apply God’s Word, but no one will know if you don’t do it. So if you aren’t interested in being open and honest about your life, then steer clear of a GO Group. Because all of this changes when you join a GO Group. Your group will follow up with you on goals that you set by the Spirit’s conviction. If you don’t follow through, you won’t be able to hide it. Though the accountability increases, these groups remain a safe and confidential place to make mistakes. They also prepare members to be leaders within the church and disciple-makers of others. This fulfills the Great Commission. So, Connect Groups are about learning God’s commands. GO group are about living out all that Jesus taught and fulfilling the Great Commission.
There is an GO Workbook that serves as the standard curriculum. It focuses on growing in the two relationships: God and Others (GO). Groups will also learn how to study God’s Word, pray, serve, and share their faith. Yet learning in GO Groups is more than comprehension. The group allows for practice and reflection that allows for us to not just be taught, but be taught to obey. We realize that people, not curriculum, make disciples. So, anyone wanting to use a different curriculum is welcome, but they need to discuss this move with the Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation before they can be considered an GO Group.
The expectations are simple to understand but hard to live out. Be honest. Discipleship requires honesty over self-protection. We put masks on because we are prideful, keeping us in the dark. Life change requires the light that comes from humility. Such humility invites others to tell us our faults. Be honest with God, your group, and yourself. Be committed. Be committed to show up on time, to actively participate as a group member, to obey God’s Word through your goals, and to share the benefit of GO Groups with others by becoming a leader of a new GO Group once your group ends.
All believers who are spiritually healthy enough to run the race. If recent circumstances have brought you immense grief or you are currently overwhelmed by a sin addiction, GO Group might not currently be for you. Instead, we would direct you to biblical counseling or a care and recovery ministry like GriefShare, DivorceCare, ReEngage, or Celebrate Recovery. Think of these groups like the spiritual hospital. Their goal is to restore you back to spiritual health so that you can run the race in an GO Group.
If you aren’t in a Connect Group, I would highly recommend that you find one before jumping into a GO Group. The best way to join a connect group is to talk with your Connect Group director. It’s best if you can identify at least one other person you would like to be in a GO Group with. You can also always talk with the Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation about placement in a GO Group. Plan on being placed in the right group rather than the quickest group. This may mean you need to wait for a little while, but a group that starts later and finishes strong is better than a group that starts now and never finishes.