How Gateway Groups Work

How Gateway Groups Work


The whole church will focus on the same book of the Bible every month. Worship, Sunday School, and small groups will all engage the same book of the Bible every month.


There is a guideline for the groups of 90 minutes total of Bible study each month, focused on that month’s book. Each small group will decide what works best for that group. Some groups will meet for 90 minutes all at one shot, some will meet every week and devote 25 minutes each week to Bible study, some groups will meet twice for 45 minutes, etc. 


Groups can meet wherever is most comfortable and convenient. The church is always available, but before scheduling a gathering at the church, someone from the group must call either Marti Abbott or Steve Smucker to put your room reservation on the church calendar.


There is no one “right” way to engage the Bible.. Each group will engage the material and the Bible however makes the most sense and is the most helpful to that group. Some ideas to get you started:

  • Answer a series of questions together.
  • Read a Bible passage three times, slowly. Share your thoughts after.
  • Each person come to the gathering with a story from their life about the passage you are focusing on. Share one-on-one then come back to the group and share as comfortable.
  • Every person brings a piece of art—song, poem, painting, sculpture—to the group that connects them to the passage being studied. 
  • Each person rewrites the passage in their own words.
  • Write and offer a prayer based on the passage.
  • The whole group watches a movie connected to that book of the Bible, then discuss the movie and Bible.

Guidance and Training

Pastor Jennie will lead two overview sessions in the first week of the month for the small group Leaders/Conveners. (Note: the groups can rotate which member goes to the overview and leads that month’s study.) The overview sessions for November and December 2013 are: Sunday 9am-10am and Thursday 7pm-8pm. Both sessions will be in the Matthews Room, and both will cover the same material. The leaders for that month will then take the materials and what they learned in the overview back to their group. 

If you are interested in participating in or leading a Gateway small group, please contact the church office. There are several groups that still have space, and no limit to the groups we can create together. Want to gather in your neighborhood, close to home? Looking to engage the Bible with others who are in recovery? Going south for the winter and want to stay connected to UUMC through an e-Group? Want to walk while you talk about the Bible together? Want to cook meals together and explore the connections of food and sustenance to the Bible?  The possibilities are as endless and as creative as God’s grace.