Life is so much better in community with others! If you’re part of our Gateway family online because you don’t live near our campuses, you can build community by hosting your own Gateway Gathering.
Imagine your friends and neighbors coming to your house to hear life-changing messages from the Bible. Imagine them spending eternity in heaven because you stepped out in faith and invited them to experience Jesus through Gateway Church. That is the joy of hosting your own Gateway Gathering!
Here are our top 10 easy tips to get started from Don Erehart, Gateway Gatherings coordinator and leader of our first-ever Gateway Gathering in St. Louis, Missouri!
1. Pick your spot.
Choose a location for your gathering that will be a great place to foster community. Whether you meet at your house or somewhere else, make sure there is plenty of room for people to receive ministry and connect with each other.
2. Pray and invite.
Ask God to give you wisdom and opportunities to invite people to your gathering. The best starting point is to invite people you already know. Think about friends who don’t know Jesus or aren’t connected to church. You may be nervous, but step out in faith knowing the Holy Spirit will empower you to be His witness (Acts 1:8)!
3. Create a welcoming environment.
Greet people as they arrive and let them know you’re glad to see them. A smile can go a long way! Consider providing snacks and coffee or water to enjoy during the meeting, and make sure you have enough seats for everyone. Focus on creating an environment you would enjoy if you were a first-time guest (Matthew 7:12).
4. Set up in advance.
Prepare to set up before your gathering starts. One of the great things about a Gateway Gathering is that you don’t have to worry about developing the worship service or the message. All you need is an internet connection, good sound, and a screen big enough for everyone to view.
5. Include time for prayer.
Take a moment to pray at the beginning and end of your gathering. Be sure to give people time to respond to what the Holy Spirit is saying to them. From decisions for Christ to prayer requests, this can be a powerful time of ministry.
6. Allow time for conversation.
After the service spend a little time talking about the message. What were some of the big takeaways? Encourage people to continue connecting as the gathering time winds down and keep the conversation going during the week in a Facebook group or group chat.
7. Stay in touch.
People want to know they are valued, and strong relationships take time and effort. To help your group members know you care, stay in touch during the week. You can send encouraging messages in a group chat, meet for coffee, or host a time to study the Bible together. Think about the things that would make you feel valued (Luke 6:31).
8. Invite others to serve.
Opportunities will naturally develop for people to serve in your gathering. For example, if someone in your group loves connecting with people, invite them to be a greeter or lead discussion time. You can even take turns hosting the gathering at different locations. Ask the Holy Spirit for creative ideas; He will guide you!
9. Trust God to guide you as a leader.
If you have a heart to start a gathering, ask God to help you grow as a leader. He will equip you! You can also count on our team to support you along the way. For inspiration read Bible stories of leaders God equipped such as Moses, David, Esther, Peter, Mary Magdalene, and Timothy. Ask God to make your gathering a place where people find true life in Christ. He is for you (Philippians 4:13; Romans 8:31)!
10. Take two minutes to sign up!
Be the start of great community and lives being changed forever—fill out our Gateway Gatherings sign-up form. Gatherings are popping up all over the world. We pray and believe God will use you in awesome ways!