is one lesson outline from a HopeKeeper leader who led a group for over 4 years.
Feel free to send
us your lesson outlines so that we can share with other leaders.
Hi, Dear Christian Friend:
OK, about my HopeKeepers(R) Group
here in Crestline, CA. The most important thing I an tell you is to keep
your group focused on Jesus & not their illness. They will need to
discuss their illness from time to time but I make it very clear that is not
what we are here for.
We are HopeKeepers (my
emphasis) & we will not focus only of the negatives of our various
chronic conditions. There are plenty of groups out there for that. I co-lead
a group for Fibromyalgia/Chronic pain, & you are righ– sometimes it is so
depressing I don’t even want to go. Fact is most the Christian ladies are now
in my HopeKeepers(R) & we have canceled FMS meetings until further notice
& just publish a Newsletter everyother month.
1) I hold HopeKeepers(R) meetings
in my home from 12:30-2:30 PM on Wednesdays.
2 ) Our meetings run approximately
8 weeks & we take two to three weeks off & start again. Our weird mountain
weather can affect how long meetings go on. :>) Lots of snow cancellations lately
& thus we will run more than eight weeks this session.
We do use the materials available through Rest Ministries. We have gone through
the Bible Study “When
Chronic Illness Enters Your Life,” about three times now because
we keep getting new folks & no one minds going over the wonderful material
Our church subscribes to the Rest Ministries Magazine
HopeKeepers for us. This is full of wonderful resources & encouraging
information for us all.
5) We have 17 ladies on our membership
list. Six of them have been, marked in red (Do not attend meetings). These ladies
cannot come due to working or just too sick. The reason we have them on our
membership list is so our gals can send them notes each week. We really stress
the note writing & phoning among our group. We also keep our membership list
& prayer sheets in our quiet time material so we can pray for each other daily.
6) I made up lined Prayer
Sheets we pass out as ladies arrive & put their name tags on. I have the
ladies put every ones name on the sheet leaving plenty of space for notes. We
take notes on each other as we fellowship & thus get to know each others needs.
Many of us have memory problems & this tool really helps.
Format of a typical meeting:
12 Noon ~ My
“well-partner” arrives & helps me get coffee & tea water, etc., ready
& lay out h&outs & if need be, helps me set up chairs. After the meeting
I leave with two of the ladies to go for Warm Water Exercise & Allison cleans
up for me & puts things away so when I get home house is neat. (Rest
Ministries recommends a “Well” buddy, if possible, since we also have a chronic
12:30 ~ 1:15
Ladies arrive. We have refreshments (usually drinks & nibbles) & fellowship
until 1:15 PM. We are using the Prayer sheets during this time. This is only
time illness is discussed, if need be as part of prayer request. Our focus
is on Jesus & not our illness. (I do research on the Internet for gals on
their illness if they ask & give them the information in an envelope to
read at home).
1:15 ~ 2 PM
We have a short prayer & begin our Bible Study time. Still taking notes
on prayer sheet as ladies answer the personal questions.
2 PM ~ 2:30
Some of my ladies leave to meet their children’s buses. Others stay & fellowship
some more until 2:30 when I must leave for swim (Twinges in the Hinges) class.
8) I should warn you out of eleven active members, we feel we have a good
turnout if five show up. I mail a devotional
from Rest Ministries to those that miss & a note of encouragement. They
are getting real good about calling if they are going to miss, so I find I
must shower & dress early before the phone starts ringing. I take their
pray requests & needs to share with those who are able to attend. Most just
need me to take 1/2 hour or so to just talk to them. :>)
9) I have created a HopeKeepers(R)
group in my address book & send them regular emails of fun & often inspiring
things I get sent or run into on the net. Laughter is our best medicine, a part
from time with Christ.
10) One of the gals brought some
books to share that have helped her. This is good to do during fellowship time.
What helps you get through those difficult days? I have gals bring in praise
tapes, one brought a Picture Bible for those days it is just impossible to concentrate
on deep Bible reading. (I ran out & bought one. It is really full of great
information & so easy to digest on a day when you are just unable to digest
anything deeper.) The Fellowship time is very special & profitable as I see
the gals bonding together as they share their lives.
11) At end of Bible study we have
prayer but safe extended time for individual needs for our Quiet times at home.
As time permits & need arises we stop & pray anytime during our time, of
course. We love our group & all feel it is very benificial & worth while.
Hope this helps. Keep in touch. I put you in my HopeKeepers(R) group in my address
book so you will get some of my forwards. God Bless you new venture. It is a
wonderful ministry. I could go on for pages about it & how our ladies help
each other etc.
In His Love & Strength,
Calvary Chapel of Lake Arrowhead HopeKeepers (R) Leader