eastside at home
eastside at home
Here’s everything you need to know to run your first Eastside at Home group gathering.
The first step to starting your Eastside at Home group is to invite people to join you. You can invite friends, family, neighbors, co-workers or fellow Eastsiders. We’ve got some tools to help you do that.
If you’re using the live stream of the weekend services, be sure to set the start time for your gathering 15-30 minutes before the service begins so people have time to show up and chat for a few beforehand. If you’re watching the service on-demand, you can obviously just start it whenever you’re ready.
Effective and timely communication is critical to starting a group off well. If someone wants to join you, tell them a bit more about what to expect. Give them the address of the meeting location, the date and time of your next meeting, and send them the COVID guidelines. And then ask if they would like to join the group.
Keep a list of everyone who inquires about the group, and note who said they are planning to join, so that you have a rough idea of how many people to expect.
A day or two before your group meets, confirm who is planning to attend. Be sure to give them your phone number in case they need to contact you, and mention anything they should know before arriving (where to park, how to get into the apartment complex, tips for finding your meeting location, etc.).
PREPARE THE SPACE
Get your meeting location ready for people to come. Set it up in such a way that they can tell you were expecting them. Turn on the lights, set up the chairs, clean the bathroom, get the TV set up to stream, open a window if there’s a funky odor, etc.
Pray for the Gathering
We want to help people experience community and encounter God, so ask for God to prepare the hearts of everyone coming (yourself included) and to be with you as you gather.
If your group includes people who don’t normally go to church, share a bit about the impact that Jesus has had on you and why you’re investing time and energy into these gatherings. Be sure to let them know that this is a place where it’s safe to ask questions and disagree.
Watch the Service
This is optional, but you may want to discuss the sermon, giving people the opportunity to reflect on how they might be able to practically apply it in their lives. Each week, we’ll email you discussion questions, and create a longer study guide in case your group wants to dive deeper.
Pray for God to be with each person in the group throughout the week, and make sure to let them know you’d love to have everyone back the following week. After you close, people may want to stick around and talk for awhile, or they might be ready to go.
Within 24 hours, send a follow up email or text thanking everyone for coming and reiterating that you’d love to have them join you again. A day or two before your next meeting, start the process over again at step 2, confirming who is planning to come that week.