What is an ACTS group?
At Every Nation Faith City, we strongly encourage everyone to be involved in an ACTS small group. These groups are specifcally designed to help disciples grow. ACTS stands for the following:
A Action Group
C Connect Group
T Topical Group
S Safe Group
With the exception of an ACTION group which is a group carrying out a specific outreach action in the community, the ACTS small groups typically have three sections: Warm-up, Word, Application and Prayer and ideally lasts from sixty to ninety minutes.
1. Warm-up (10-15 minutes)
Each ACTS small group meeting begins with a warm-up question. The warm-up is designed to give everyone a chance to speak. It helps people connect with and get to know each other.
Good warm-up questions:
- have no right or wrong answers
- ask for opinion or experience
- require no Bible knowledge
- are not controversial
- are connected to the topic
2. Word (15-30 minutes)
The Word time is a teaching on the text or topic of the week. Teach the truth and relevance of God’s Word for life application. Please remember this is not primarily a Bible study. Although teaching and explanation of Scripture is involved, the goal is to minister to people, not merely complete a book or teaching material.
There is no need to teach all the points in a material. Within this section, we look at what the Bible says, its relevance to us today, and its application in our lives.
Here are a few tips to help the group leader during the Word time:
- Don’t pretend to be an expert or a Bible know-it-all. How much of the Bible you obey is much more important than how much you know.
- The ACTS small group leader is the guide, chairman, the leader (meaning the one who goes first and sets the example for others to follow) and a participant. The ACTS small group meeting is more than a Bible study. It requires a good leader, not an expert teacher.
- Let the Bible speak for itself.
- Remember, the goal is to minister to the needs of the people, not to finish a Bible lesson, so be led by the Spirit, not by the material.
- Use illustrations and tell stories to help explain the Bible verses.
- Each lesson begins with key verses and introductory comments, which can be read out loud or summarized.
- Each lesson usually has three main points, followed by a verse, comments, and questions.
- These questions are not designed to be asked during the ACTS small group meeting. Rather, they are to help the group leader prepare the lesson.
3. Application (10-15 minutes)
In an ACTS small group meeting, we teach the Bible so people can do it, not so they can know it. The whole point of the teaching is practical application.
- Each lesson includes three application questions. Choose one.
- Feel free to add your own questions.
- Prepare another group member to answer the application question, to set the example for others to follow.
- Ask the application question and designate who will answer first. Otherwise, everyone will stare at their feet, waiting for someone to speak up first.
- Do not allow people to argue with or be critical of others. Remind everyone to apply the lesson to their own lives, not someone else’s.
- ACTS small group leaders must ask God for wisdom to know when to balance or correct weird or unbiblical applications. Insensitive correction or criticism can kill the group, as can unchecked heresy.
4. Prayer (10-15 minutes)
Prayer is probably the most important part of the ACTS small group meeting. Make sure you have plenty of time left, so your prayer time is not rushed.
- Listen to the Holy Spirit carefully throughout the Warm-up, Word, and Application sections for possible prayer needs.
- Spend your time praying for one another, not sharing and discussing prayer requests.
- Keep your prayers simple, sincere, and short.
- Pray, don’t preach. Pray in simple and short sentences, not long-winded prayers.
- Use conversational prayer, not complicated spiritual language.
- Expect God to answer your prayers.