3/3 Group Meeting Pattern
A 3/3 Group (PRONOUNCE AS “Three-Thirds”) is one that divides their time together into 3 parts. The format focuses on faithfulness to past leadings of the Lord, hearing together from the Lord, and planning obedience in the near future to any guidance given by the Lord.
This 3/3 pattern can be used for a simple church (or home church), a leadership cell, or peer mentoring group. The format focuses on faithfulness to past leadings of the Lord, hearing together from the Lord, and planning obedience in the near future to any guidance given by the Lord.
This is how it works:
- Look Back - The first third of the group’s time is spent looking back at what’s happened since we’ve been together.
- Look Up - The middle third of the group’s time is spent Looking Up for God’s wisdom and direction through scripture, discussion and prayer.
- Look Forward - The final third of the group’s time is spent Looking Forward to how we can each apply and obey what we’ve learned.
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Outline of 3/3 Meeting
LOOK BACK [1/3 of your time]
Care and Prayer: Take time to have each person share something they are thankful for. Then each person should share something they are struggling with. Have the person to their right pray for them about the items they share. If anyone is struggling with something that requires more attention, stay after to care for that person.
Vision: Spend time singing together and tie the lyrics to the themes of loving God, loving others, sharing Jesus with others, starting new groups, and helping others do the same. Alternatively people could share Bible passages that communicate these themes.
Check-in: Have each person share how they did regarding the commitments they wrote down from the previous week:
- How have you obeyed what you have learned?
- Who have you trained in what you have learned?
- With whom have you shared your story or God’s story?
If they forgot to follow through on a commitment or did not have the opportunity to do so, then those commitments from the prior week should be added to this week’s commitments. If someone simply refuses to obey something they clearly heard from God then it should be treated as a church discipline issue.
LOOK UP [1/3 of your time]
Pray: Talk with God simply and briefly. Ask God to teach you this passage.
Read and Discuss: Read this week’s passage. Discuss the following questions:
- What did you like about this passage?
- What did you find challenging or hard to understand about this passage?
Read this week’s passage again.
- What can we learn about people from this passage?
- What can we learn about God from this passage?
LOOK FORWARD [1/3 of your time]
Obey. Train. Share. : Take at least five minutes in silent prayer. Have everyone in the group pray for the Holy Spirit to show them how to answer these questions, then make commitments. Everyone should write the commitments down so they can pray for people knowledgeably and hold them accountable. They may not hear something related to every question every week. They should note if they share a response which they are not sure they heard from God, but they think may be a good idea since the accountability will be handled at a different level in that case.
- How will I apply and obey this passage?
- Who will I train or share with about this passage?
- Who does God want me to share my story [testimony] and/or God’s story with this week?
Practice: In groups of two or three, practice what you have committed to do in question 5, 6 or 7. For example, role-play a difficult conversation or facing a temptation; practice teaching today’s passage, or practice sharing the Gospel.
Talk With God: In the same groups of two or three, pray for every member individually. Ask God to prepare the hearts of the people who will be hearing about Jesus this week. Ask Him to give you the strength and wisdom to be obedient to your commitments. This is the conclusion of the meeting.
- Did you notice any differences between a 3/3 Group and a Bible Study or Small Group you've been a part of (or have heard about) in the past? If so, how would those differences impact the group?
- Could a 3/3 Group be considered a Simple Church? Why or why not?