MyCAREGroup. The CARE Network Ministry equips young people around the world to successfully start and run CARE Groups, lead group Bible studies and share the Gospel with seekers. The network consists of hundreds of young people in more than 16 countries on five continents.
The mission of myCAREGroup is to make disciples of all people, communicating the everlasting Gospel in the context of the 3 angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-12, leading them to accept Jesus as their personal Savior and further training them to start and successfully host CARE Groups in their communities.
By going back to the roots of Jesus’ method, analysing and implementing His great principles, we are to restore individually and corporately God’s people and His church. The climax of this restoration process can be reached by starting authentic small groups around the world and creating a network of dedicated believers who are united in faith and eager to see Jesus coming back very soon.
CARE stands for Christ’s Attitude Reflected in Everyone. CARE Groups are open small groups that regularly invite guests (“seekers”) to study the Bible. Besides a group Bible study, three other elements (as mentioned in Acts 2:42) are part of a CARE Group (CG): Food, Music and Prayer. The focus of each meeting is the study of God’s word.
The CARE Group concept finds its origin in the book of Acts. At the day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter was preaching to a multitude of Jews who got convinced, convicted and converted. The Bible tells us that thousands of new believers joined the early church. They all continued “in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42 KJV). The difference between a CG and a “normal” small group is that many small groups only study the Bible or pray. But it is way more powerful to include all four elements in a small group and invite guests to share the Gospel with them.
Discipleship Groups find their origin in the same Bible passage. They have all four elements as part of their group but focus on making disciples first before inviting seekers to their group. A typical discipleship group meeting includes individual preparation in advance, studying the Bible passage individually before talking about it in a group setting. At a CARE Group, one leader is responsible for guiding seekers and members alike through the narrative. This requires more preparation for the leader but enables seekers to join the study without preparing beforehand. Ideally, a discipleship group is formed by a few motivated church members who equip each other to become effective leaders. Once they feel confident, they transform their discipleship group into a CARE Group and start inviting seekers on a regular basis. Many do not have the privilege to host a discipleship group first before starting a CG. That is why myCG provides online training courses (“online discipleship groups”) to train them and start new CGs.
Small groups are not a new idea. God, when creating man, said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness (…).” Genesis 1:26. Moses listened to Jethro and appointed (small) group leaders when guiding the people of Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 18:21). Jesus’ ministry with His 12 disciples here on earth was basically a ministry of small group evangelism (Mark 3:13-19; Mark 6:7; Luke 10:1). Both Jesus and also the apostle Paul went into the homes of fellow believers, eating and talking about spiritual things.
In Adventist circles, the idea of a CARE Group came up in Melbourne, Australia in the early 2000s. The concept was then further established by founding the GATEWAY Adventist Centre in 2003. Over the years, many CGs were started and new churches were planted. In 2008, Chinese college students brought the idea to San Diego, California. Seven years later, a visitor from Germany got introduced to the San Diego CARE Group and after becoming a born-again believer, he went to Europe and brought the movement to Detmold, Germany. From this point forward, the movement spread rapidly in the secular countries of Western Europe.
Since myCAREGroup is a small group ministry directly influenced by and started because of GATEWAY, all materials and training techniques are almost identical. MyCAREGroup builds on years of experience from GATEWAY and their evangelistic efforts. If you have already received training from Johnny Wong, GATEWAY Adventist Centre or if you have gone through the “Rightly Trained” video series, it is not necessary to go through our program again. We do advise though to take one of our Bible study courses to better understand how to study the Bible with a group of seekers.
If you want to start your own CARE Group, seek help from a CARE Ambassador™ and sign up for our free online training. There is a network of educated coaches who are willing to help you start your new project from scratch. All you need to do is register here, and one of our team members will assign an ambassador to you and your new group. All you need is a computer or smart phone with internet connection, your Bible and two hours per month of your time. Also, consider asking your roomate, a friend or a family member if they want to start a CARE Group with you. Two are better than one.
There are many ways to further get involved with myCG. The first and easiest way is to become a CARE Ambassador™. All ambassadors are educated leaders that train new CARE Group leaders, they are to copy the spiritual “ID” of this project and paste it into every new group. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel called to tell other people about small groups and share your knowledge and expertise with them. The CARE Network Ministry is also looking for new volunteers who are willing to join and further carry out this mission. If you want to get involved and become a part of myCG, write us at email@example.com and tell us which department you might be interested in joining. We need volunteers for Programming, Training, IT, Music, Media & Design and our department of Theological Research (DTR).