Jesus teaches to give freely what we've received from Him, so below we share the meeting format that works for us in our Eternal Grace gatherings. We receive inquiries from all over the world from those who want to start an Eternal Grace gathering. Due to the volume of requests, we've found it easier to put the guide here for your free usage. We encourage you to start your own meeting and invite your friends. Let us know when your group is up and going. Note to group facilitator: Simply delegate the reading of the parts of the format (Principles, Who Are We, Worship, The Bible, Sharing Guidelines, Mission, The Healing Power of Prayer) to others in the meeting to read. You read the first section below aloud to your group which will format the meeting & guide you when to ask the others to read their section. The content of the readings is all on this website. Some prefer to copy and paste the format into a document and keep in a binder with hand-out sheets for the meeting. If you have any questions or need the format in a Word document, e-mail Eternal Grace at email@example.com The Holy Spirit will lead you. Below is the easy-to-follow format that the evening's leader simply begins reading:
ETERNAL GRACE MEETING GUIDE
"Welcome to Eternal Grace. We exist to share God’s grace with the world. It’s that simple. We gather for worship, fellowship, the sharing of spiritual gifts, and outreach. God’s eternal grace is what saves us. God’s gifts are grace-gifts, given because He’s head over heels in love with us.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to receive God’s eternal grace, and to give grace to ourselves and to others.
The Bible uses organic metaphors to describe the relationship between God and us. He is the vine and we are the branches. A farmer sowing seed in good ground. The body of Christ. We are a living organism. Our worship and fellowship are Spirit-led. We are natural as we experience the supernatural together.
We are a network of Eternal Grace gatherings supporting each other on a spiritual journey. Our mission is to help everyone grow in grace, so we encourage all participants to not judge or criticize those who are not on the same level. The Bible says, “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
As a courtesy to everyone, we respectfully ask everyone to be kind enough to turn off all cellphones and electronic devices. We have gathered to focus on God without distraction.
I’ve asked someone to read the foundational principles." (Someone read the page on this website entitled Principles)
"I’ve asked someone to read “Who We Are and Where We Are Going” (Someone Reads Who Are We? Three paragraphs under the question "Who Are We?" on the Home page of website)
"I’ve asked someone to read our statement on worship." (Someone reads the first four paragraphs on the Worship page on Website)
"We will now have a time of worship. Feel free to participate in whatever way you are comfortable. I’ve asked someone to pray, inviting God’s Spirit to come and guide us." (Note to facilitator. What takes place in worship time is up to you and the group and the Spirit. You can go around the circle and thank God for who He is and what He’s done. Members can share what they are grateful for. You can spend some time in silent meditation, being still and knowing He is God. You can sing with musical instruments, a worship CD, or acapella. You can have members of the group read aloud the psalms. You can ask the Holy Spirit for gifts. For those of you interested in leading worship music, here's our founder's new training class: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usLgIzmyQd0 )
[Communion can be shared as part of worship, if desired]
"We’ve come to that time in our gathering when we worship through financial offerings. For those of you who are visiting with us, please feel no obligation. But for those of you who feel connected and spiritually fed through Eternal Grace, your financial commitment is very important to sustaining and multiplying this ministry. We observe the tradition of giving love offerings to God as an act of worship and gratitude. All gifts to Eternal Grace, a nonprofit church, are tax-deductible. Contributions can be sent through http://www.paypal.com to the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to: ETERNAL GRACE, 5030 Whitsett Avenue, Suite One, N. Hollywood, CA 91607
Are there any announcements?" (Note to facilitator: Group members may have events and activities of interest to invite others to.)
"I’ve asked someone to read our statement on the Bible." (Someone reads website page statement on The Bible) "It is now time for our lead speaker to share their strength, experience, and hope in Christ." (Lead Speaker shares from scripture, how they are applying it to their life. Most groups select the speaker in advance of the meeting, but if not, someone can volunteer. Leads are usually about twenty minutes)
Sometimes EG gatherings flow into a time of ministry and healing prayer. Sometimes there’s opportunity for discussion. If open sharing is desired, read: " I’ve asked someone to read the following statement below on Sharing Guidelines. " (Someone reads Sharing Guidelines)
"Early church gatherings were a potluck called the Love Feast. Everyone brought a dish. There was also a spiritual potluck. Everyone shared hope from their experience. Corinthians says when you come together, everyone has a gift for the strengthening of the church. The following guidelines insure everyone has an opportunity to share in a safe environment. We ask that you respect others by not interrupting them, or debating them if you disagree with their opinion. It’s okay to disagree agreeably. Diversity is healthy, and sometimes there are different likes and dislikes and viewpoints. Be considerate by limiting your shares to allow time for others. Wait to share a second time until everyone who hasn't talked can share at least once. Use "I" statements as much as possible rather than "You" statements. "You" statements are comments on other people's shares. Avoid giving advice to others, or preaching to them about what they should feel or do. Avoid cross-talk, which means when we speak, we address the meeting as a whole, not individuals. "I" statements support self-disclosure with God and others. Share how you are doing in the present. What is happening currently in your journey of faith?"
[Open sharing if desired]
"I’ve asked someone to read our statement on Mission." (Have someone read from the home page the first paragraph under the question "What Is Our Mission & Methodology?" and paragraphs two through five under the question "What Is Our Concept of God?")
"We will now have a time of ministry for whoever would like to receive prayer or pray for others. I’ve asked someone to read our statement on the healing power of prayer." (Someone reads the website page Healing)
"We begin our time of healing prayer with an invitation to His Spirit to come and bring gifts to glorify our Lord and edify His church."
Note to facilitator: (Groups usually break into groups of three and spend approximately 45 minutes in healing prayer for each other. This allows 15 minutes of prayer for each person. Sometimes pray as a large group together for each other and for friends and family who the group desires to see touched by God's grace.)
WANT TO CHECK OUT ONE OF OUR GATHERINGS?
Email us at email@example.com and let us know where you are located so we can refer you to an Eternal Grace meeting closest to you. Our gatherings consist of music, often a meal, communion (sharing bread & wine or grape juice), a brief biblical message, discussion, and opportunity for prayer. The dress and atmosphere are casual and the meetings usually sit in circles rather than rows to facilitate informal interaction & discussion. Our movement is organic and constantly evolving so meetings happen at new places and times, so emailing us requesting to be on invite lists will keep you in the loop.