This Guide helps the Gathering Time leader to understand the purpose and importance of the Gathering Time and how it leads the church into the Bible study and worship experience. Every person who will lead the Gathering Time should have access to a copy of this Guide.
1. Read “How to Use the Bible Study and Worship Guide”.
2. At least one week before you are scheduled to lead the Gathering Time, obtain the your portion of the downloaded Guide along with any instructions or supplemental material needed. If others are included in what you will be doing, ensure that they, too, have ample time to prepare.
3. Your part will usually begin with a brief activity, song, etc. to help the group prepare to hear the introduction to the week’s study and worship emphasis. This will provide a few minutes for the children (and adults) to settle down and begin to think about God.
4. Now, you will introduce the study for the week. Make sure that the content of your introduction to the study clearly identifies what the group will be studying, that is, the theme and the scripture. The closing time to your part may or may not seem to appropriately do that for your particular church. Use your judgment as to how to focus the group on the study.
5. Your church may or may not wish to discuss church business or coming activities and ministries in-between the Gathering Time and the Bible Study. However, it does provide an excellent opportunity to focus on the prayer praise and needs of your church.
Prayer should always call your church into God’s presence. Create, long term, an attitude of prayer in the church so that your people see it as much a natural part of your worship as breathing is to each person.
6. Remember that you provide an important element of the worship experience. Everything you do, or that you lead others to do, blends with everything the other two leaders do. The three leaders must see that the service is a single worship experience. No part exists only for its own reason.
7. Finally, remember that you are responsible in helping everyone participate in the worship experience. From preschoolers to the elderly, and from the least involved in the group to the core members – everyone needs to be encouraged to actively experience God’s presence.