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CFC Singles for Christ

HOUSEHOLD HEADS MANUAL

HOUSEHOLD HEA DS MANUAL

Manual v.2014

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HOUSEHOLD HEADS MANUAL


Table of Contents

Chapt er 1: The Hou sehold 3

A. Definition 3
B. Purpose 3
C. Composition 3
D. Necessity of Household Membership 3
E. The Household Head 4
 Definition 4
 Role of the Household Head 4
 Qualifications of a Household Head 5
F. Attitudes of a Household Head 5-6
G. Areas of Challenges 6-7
H. Practical Considerations 7
I. Others 8
J. The Household Members 8-10
K. The Household Meetings 10
 Frequency 10-11
 Venue 11
 Ingredients of a Household Meeting 11-14

Duration 14
 Social Night 14-15
L. Topics for Meetings 15
M. Group Activities 18

Chapt er 2: Annexes 19

A. Workshops 20
 Conducting One to ones 21
 Leading a Prayer Meeting 24
 Worship Leading 29
B. Orientation of New Household to SFC 34
 Introduction 35
 Objectives 35
 Role of Household Heads 36
 Content of Meetings 36
C. Bible Sharing 41
 7-Step Method 42
D. SFC Household Supplementary Topics 44

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I. THE HOUSEHOLD

A. Definition

A household is a grouping of singles who meet regularly during the week for
personal sharing and for mutual support and encouragement in the Christian
life. As such, the household is the basic unit in the pastoral structure of CFC
Singles for Christ (SFC).

B. Purpose

The purpose of the household group is to build an environment for the


support of the Christian life of singles and to provide a means of encouraging
and hastening growth in the Christian life. As such, the household:

1. Builds faith and provides for mutual encouragement through the


sharing of life experiences and God’s practical wisdom.
2. Provides friendship and brotherhood/sisterhood, without which our
Christian life lacks joyful expression.
3. Provides support for each other’s needs.
4. Helps people overcome obstacles to growth in the Christian life.

C. Composition

A household is composed of four to seven (4-7) singles including the


household head. The household is comprised of singles who finished the
Christian Life Program (CLP) and who have made their commitment to the
covenant of the CFC Singles for Christ. The household is set up immediately
after the end of the CLP.

In succeeding years (at least, after one year), there would be occasions when
households would be reorganized. During these occasions membership will
be changed and redistributed to other households, units and chapters.

D. Necessity of Household Membership

Every SFC member is to belong to one household as one of its members. SFC
leaders (Household Heads, Unit Heads, and Chapter Leaders) all belong to
households for their own personal support in the Christian life. Thus, every
SFC leader participates in two households, one which he leads and the other
where he in turn is led.

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E. The Household Head

1. Definition

The household head is the SFC brother or sister appointed to take care
of a household.

2. The Role of the Household Head

a. The Household Head is the designated leader over a group of


singles and is responsible for all the activities of the household and
for the good order of the household meeting.

 meeting
 sharing/discussion
 honor and respect

b. The Household Head acts as an older brother/sister to the group.

 Establishes s trong personal relationships with his members.


 Gets help for them whenever it is available.
 Gives direction and listens completely to his members. Ideally,
at least, once a month through one-to-one sessions.

c. He/she g ives pastoral support through household meetings done at


a minimum of two (2) times a month.

d. He/she also encourages his/her members to receive additional


pastoral support as they take part in the monthlyChapter Prayer
Assembly and Chapter Teaching Assembly as scheduled by the
Chapter Leaders.

e. He/she helps each member to be fully integrated into the


household and into CFC Singles for Christ.

f. He/she has no authority over members’ lives but exercises concern


for their lives, especially in the areas of righteousness and good
order.

g. He/she supports the life in SFC and the decisions of its elders.

 Does not use the household meeting to ventilate


disagreements with SFC, CFC or its elders. In case of such
disagreement, he/she takes this up with his/her Unit Head.

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 Supports fully any decision on movements of singles from one


household to another, and helps these members make their
movements with ease and with minimal difficulty.

h. Raises up and recommends potential new household heads to


undergo the Household Heads Training (HHT) which is under the
supervision of his/her Chapter leaders.

3. Qualifications of a Household Head

The household head is selected based on the following criteria:

a. Availability

b. Formation

 growing spiritually
 good order in personal life
 a good appreciation of the vision, mission and culture of SFC
 faithful to SFC commitments
 has taken the COW

c. Personal Characteristics

 emotionally stable
 able to accept correction and direction
 has a good reputation

d. Skills

 ability to handle a group discussion


 good listening and communication skills
 ability to provide adequate directions to members regarding
SFC commitments

e. An active member of SFC for at least one year.

F. Attitudes of a Household Head

In order to properly function in a way that would truly be helpful to the


members of the household, the household head needs to have some basic
attitudes, to wit:

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1. He/she must have the mind and heart of a servant. Just like the Lord
Jesus, he/she must come to serve rather than be served. His/her service
should be an expression of love for the Lord. He/she should be humble in
service and put the interest of his/her members first. He/she should be
obedient to the Lord and to those whom the Lord has put in charge of
his/her service.

2. He/she must look upon the singles under him/her as being given by the
Lord, to be cared for adequately. He/she has the responsibility to look
after their spiritual welfare, a charge coming directly from the Lord.

3. The household head must love them as brothers or sisters. They are not
just good friends, but family.

4. He/she must serve with gladness and joy. No matter what one’s
difficulties are, how badly the day went, how strained one’s relationships
with his/her family and friends are at the moment. The household head
needs to have the joy of the Lord, the joy of serving Him, the joy that
transcends all earthly difficulties. How he/she conducts himself/herself
will provide a living example to those who have been put in his/her care.

5. He/she must serve in trust and confidence. He/she needs to realize that
since the Lord has called him/her to do His work, then the Lord will equip
him/her with the wisdom and guidance necessary to be an effective
instrument of His will.

G. Some Areas of Challenge

The household head is not expected to exercise pastoral headship over


his/her group, but he/she would normally encounter certain pastoral
challenges which he/she cannot avoid or should not avoid, but for which
he/she should prudently seek help from the elders.

The household head should refer all serious pastoral concerns to his/her Unit
Head, who is the pastor of the members of the unit, which includes the
household. Of course, the Unit Head can direct the household head to handl e
the situation himself/herself, with some input from him/her. But ultimately it

is the responsibility and concern of the Unit Head. Putting it within the
context of a family (which a household is), the household head is the big
brother/sis ter while the Unit Head is the father/mother.

Some examples of iss ues that need to be referred to the Unit Head are:

1. Serious relationship problems within the single’s family.

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2. Issues which pastorally affect the unit or across units, e.g., financial
borrowing without proper consultation and clearance.
3. Unfaithfulness of members to meetings, requiring a decision to retain or
drop a member from SFC.
4. Slander or gossip which erodes relationships within the household/unit or
across units.
5. Serious wrongdoing.
6. Moral and theological questions, such as taxes, bribery vs. extortion,
penance, the sacraments, etc.
7. Proselytizing and ecumenical relationships.

H. Practical Considerations

Some of the concrete things the household head can and should do are:

1. Handle the practical concerns for household meetings.


a. places of meetings
b. topics for discussion/sharing
c. regulating an over-sharing member
d. how to stop goss ip in the meeting
e. bringing the discussion to the agenda and keeping it on course

2. Know each member well. Keep notes on each one.

3. Be prayerful.
a. Pray for each member regularly during his own personal prayer time.
b. Spend time praying before the household meeting and entrusting it
to the Lord.
c. Pray over members when appropriate (birthdays, anniversaries,
when sick, for inner healing, etc.)

4. Be prepared and have an agenda. In other words, rely on the Lord, but
also do your part.

5. Focus on spiritual growth and God's power rather than on problems.


However, be sensitive to personal problems.

6. Get the group to make agreements and account to one another


regarding:
a. time of meeting, punctuality
b. right way of speaking about others
c. negative humor

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I. Others

1. Always work on the faithfulness of members. Attendance at the


household meetings is part of a member's commitment and is a must.

2. Refer all frequent absentees to your Unit Head. Together you can discuss
the particular situation and decide on a course of action. Remember: the
strength of the body will depend on its members' faithfulness and
commitment.

3. Always be on the lookout for potential leaders (CLP discussion leaders,


speakers, and household heads) and inform your Unit Heads or Chapter
Leaders about them. We want to identify them early, chart their
development and at the opportune time let them serve. Remember that
SFC can only grow in number to the extent that our leadership resources
allow.

4. Study and read, especially the books we publish. Keep ahead of your
members.

5. Don't use the household meeting to ventilate your own personal


problems, nor seek help for such problems from the household members
under you. Rather, bring these to your Unit Head and to the unit
household of which you are a member.

6. If for any reason you feel you cannot do the job as a household head
adequately, discuss this with your Unit Head so that appropriate action
can be taken. Don't just let it go, with the result that your household
members suffer.

II. THE HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS

A. Attitudes of Household Members

In order to reap the full benefits to be offered by participation in a household


group, its members have to foster some basic attitudes, such as:

1. Openness – One has to be open to what the Lord wants to give through
the household group. One should realize that this is part of God's work
and in conformity with His plan for each person, and should therefore be
expectant and desirous of what is in store for him/her. Concretely, one
should share about his/her personal life and relationship with the Lord in
a spirit of openness.

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2. Confidentiality – Household members are encouraged to share of their


personal lives, including their concerns and difficulties, in the meetings.
And this can be done only in an atmosphere of confidentiality. Whatever
is shared in the meetings should not be shared outside with anyone else.

a. Note: The Household Heads may share concerns to their service


head or Unit Head, who are extensions of their service and care for
household members. This is not a breach of confidentiality.

b. The prohibition on sharing with outsiders excludes the positive


factors in one's life. These in effect can be shared by the members
outside the household meeting whenever there is an appropriate
opportunity so that others can also be built upand encouraged.

3. Faithfulness – One has to make the twice a month household meeting a


priority in his/her life and be regular in attendance. Only with continuity
and one's personal commitment can the purpose of household groups be
achieved.

4. Participation – Each member has to come to the meetings prepared both


spiritually and practically, and have the attitude of wanting to make a
contribution to the life of the meeting. Think not only of what you can
get out of the meeting but of what you can impart to the brothers and
sisters. This is done by active participation in worship, in sharing and
discussion, and in fellowship. It is important that each member supports
the good order of the weekly meeting and relates to everyone in the
group with honor and respect, especially to the household head.

5. Love – The idea, after all, is to foster active concern and commitment to
one another. One has to look on the other members of the group as not
just so many new friends, but as brothers and sis ters in the Lord, among
whom mutual love is the common denominator.

B. Attendance

1. Each member is expected to attend the twice a month meetings


faithfully, and indeed this is part of one's commitment to the covenant of

SFC. Of course, certain obstacles will come up, such as sickness. What is
important is that one should accord top priority to these meetings and
really desire not to be absent from them.

2. Since attendance is part of one's commitment and since the very purpose
of household groups would be defeated by frequent absences (indicating
a lack of interest), such absences form sufficient ground for one's

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separation from SFC. Household heads should follow up on absent


members and try to renew their interest and commitment. If
unsuccessful, the matter should be referred to the Unit Head for
appropriate action.

3. The household head has no authority to grant leaves of absence to his


household members. Any such requests should be referred to the Unit
Head.

III. THE HOUSEHOLD MEETINGS

A. Frequency

1. Households meet twice a month for household (the other two is


dedicated for Chapter Prayer Assemblies and Chapter Teaching
Assemblies), on the same day of the week as mutually agreed on by the
members. Less than once a week would not provide enough contact to
have adequate support and encouragement in the Christian life. More
than once a week may take time that is more properly allocated to work,
family, personal needs or Christian service.

2. The household head cannot skip or cancel any meeting, except as


provided for below, or as approved by the Unit Head due to a serious
reason.

3. If the household head cannot be present at a scheduled household


meeting (of course for a valid reason), he/she should not cancel the
meeting. Rather, he/she must refer the matter to the Unit Head.
Together, they will agree on a replacement, either one of the
brothers/sisters from the household or another brother/sister from the
unit.

4. Exceptions to the weekly household meetings are the following:

a. During the weeks when the monthly Chapter Prayer Assembly and
Chapter Teaching Assembly are held.

b. During s pecial times such as Holy Week and Christmas break.


5. When a whole household serves in a CLP, the household will still meet for
their regular prayer meetings at a minimum of twice (2x) a month.

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 Continuing to meet is essential so that the members continue


receiving personal life support, and not just meet for service, which is
the CLP.

B. Venue

The household meeting is to be held in the home of one of the members of


the group. The meeting place is rotated among the homes of each member.

Having the household meeting in the homes of the household members has
the following values:

1. Worshipping the Lord in our homes makes the truth that the home is a
small church a concrete reality. And God's blessings will surely descend
upon the home where God's people can be found, worshipping Him
together and growing in their faith together.

2. The people in our home – our brothers and sisters, maybe our parents,
our household help, the people who are closest to us and whom we love
– will be aware of what we are involved in and what we do every week.
To them we will become people who are living their Christian faith
openly and powerfully.

3. What we do in our homes can be an effective tool for evangelism,


especially to our residential household, to our neighbors and to other
relatives and friends.

C. Ingredients of a Household Meeting

A typical household meeting would involve three indispensable ingredients:

(1) worship and prayer,


(2) a time of sharing or teaching or discussion, and
(3) sometime for fellowship.

All three are very important and none should be skipped or simply glossed
over.
1. Worship.

a. The worship portion should include all the necessary ingredients:

 singing

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 praising
 thanksgiving
 prayers of petition
 intercession

Every member should become familiar and comfortable with our way
of worship and praise, and the household head shows the way.

b. A typical format for the time of worship could be as follows:

 come before the Lord (may be a short period of silence and/or a


short exhortation from the leader)
 sing a lively song of praise
 simultaneous vocal praising
 sing another song, then more praising
 sing a worship song
 singing in tongues, followed by a short period of silence
 bring forward words from the Lord (prophecy, inspired Scripture
verses, exhortations)
 individual prayers of thanksgiving
 individual prayers of petition and intercession
 closing prayer by the leader

c. Members should be exhorted by the head to participate actively in the


singing, praising and prayers of thanksgiving and petition. They should
also be encouraged to exercise the spiritual gifts of prophecy, inspired
Scripture reading and exhortation.

d. The household head leads in the worship. As a general rule, he/she


should not delegate his/her responsibility to the others. However,
every once in a while (not too often), he/she may ask another
brother/sister to lead, for the purpose of training. But most if not all
the time, he/she leads.

e. Ideally, someone in the group should play the guitar. A piano or other
musical instrument would be alternatives, if available and practicable.
If no one can play, then it would be advisable to make use of our song
tapes/cds, where songs have been arranged in groups of three
precis ely for use in household worship.

f. The worship is done standing up for the whole duration. Exceptions


would be sick or weak members.

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2. For the time of sharing, teaching or discussion, SFC households are


designed to have separate meetings for the male households and the
women households.

Some advantages of this arrangement are as follows:

a. Members are more free to share, especially of their difficulties, when


members of the opposite gender are not around.

b. Practically speaking, there would not be enough time (at least quality
time) for everyone to share.

c. It's an opportunity for the men to be supported by the brothers as


Christian men and the women by the sisters as Christian women.

 Note that joint households occur ONLY in the Chapter level. As


such, the time for sharing, teaching or discussion in such
occasions can be also joint or separate. This arrangement
depends, of course, on what is to be taken up at the discretion of
the Chapter Leaders.

 On very, very special (and rather limited) occasions, a male


household and a female household from two different units may
have a joint household upon the request of their household
heads. This arrangement DEPENDS on the purpose of the joint
activity, the topic to be taken up, and upon the permission and
approval of the Unit Heads and Chapter Leaders.

 Other than that, the male and female households would meet
separately. Anyway, interaction among the households occur
twice (2x) a month during the monthly Chapter Prayer Assembly
and Chapter Teaching Assembly.

3. The last part, fellowship, is the time for socializing.

a. The host of household meeting usually prepares a very simple snack.


Here it must be kept in mind that the food is incidental to the
fellowship, rather than the fellowship being centered on the food.
Furthermore, no member should be burdened by the snack's cost or
needed time for preparation, nor should any host ever be pressured
in "keeping up" with a fellow member's extravagance.

b. The host says the grace before the meal.

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c. Absolutely no alcoholic beverages are to be served for this part of the


household meeting.

4. The evening ends with a short closing prayer by the Household Head.

D. Duration

1. Ordinarily, the household meeting is held after dinner on a weekday.


However, other mutually acceptable times are possible. The whole
meeting would typically run for about 2 1/2 hours, as follows:

Worship – 30 minutes
Sharing/teaching/discussion – 60-90 minutes
Fellowship – 30-60 minutes

Of course, there is some flexibility and there could be variations on the


above time frames.

2. As much as possible, household meetings should start at the agreed time,


even if not everyone has arrived. The household head should not wait for
everyone. He/she should not make the meeting and everyone else a
captive of someone else's lack of commitment to punctuality. Besides,
this may be the only way to get chronic latecomers to mend their ways.
So if necessary, the household head should start the worship even if only
he/she and the host are around.

3. The meeting should not end too late, say, not later than 11 p.m. If the
meeting can start earlier, so much the better. If the meeting goes beyond
11 p.m., this s hould be the exception rather than the rule.

E. Social Night

1. The household may decide to have a social night on occasion. A social


night is a time devoted to fellowship, with no formal worship, discussion
or sharing.

2. It is recommended that a social night be held once a quarter, on the


month where there is a 5th week. If the members want to have a social
night more often, then it should be done outside the time allocated for
regular household meetings. Some possibilities: meet during the Chapter
Prayer/Teaching Assembly week; or have a Lord's Day celebration
together.

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3. Various activities are possible. Members may have dinner together, at a


home or outside, or go out somewhere together (at a party or disco, go
bowling, etc.), or even decide to have a whole-day outing. There is a lot of
flexibility, and the idea is just to enjoy each other's company socially and
become intimate friends as well as brothers or sisters in the Lord.

IV. TOPICS FOR MEETINGS

A. For the first year (for the new members right after the CLP), the household
meetings are used to follow up on the topics in the teaching formation.

Thus the first year would look like this:

Year 1 Teaching Household Topics


3 months CLP
3 months COW Introduction to new Household
3 months COW Follow-up topics
3 months KT/PD KT/PD Follow-up topics

In the second year and beyond, the topics of the household meetings are also
a follow up of the SFC teaching formation (Topics can be found in the
Household Heads Manual) or it could either be any of the following:

 Personal Sharing
 Bible Sharing
 Topical discussions

Aside from the household meetings, the members will still have their regular
monthly Chapter Prayer Assembly and Chapter Teaching Assembly.

The above cycle provides enough variety so as to make household meetings


always interesting and life giving. Of course, the household head is free to
deviate from this cycle as he/she sees fit.

B. Personal Sharing

Personal sharing is telling our brothers and sisters about what has been
happening in our lives for the past month, with a particular focus on what the
Lord has been doing in our lives. Personal sharing is an essential element in
building up our relationship with our brothers and sisters. As we open up our
lives to them and they become an intimate part of our lives.

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1. If the household head opts for personal sharing, it can either be done by
just encouraging the members to share as they are led, or by using a set
of questions which can guide the members in their sharing. As a
framework to provide shape and direction, questions can be an effective
means to lively personal interaction. One can develop and use one's own
questions, just so long as they suit the needs of the members and can
effectively draw out people.

2. Sample questions are as follows:

a. How have you grown in your relationship with the Lord? Have you
come before the Lord faithfully in personal prayer?

b. In what ways were you aware of the Lord's presence or action in your
life during the past week/month?

c. What has the Lord been telling you in your prayer time or Scripture
study this week/month? How have you responded?

d. Have you conducted yourself righteously in thought, word or action?

e. In what ways has the Lord used you to serve others this past
week/month?

f. What change has the Lord been asking you in order that you might
grow in loving your brothers and sisters?

C. Bible sharing

Bible sharing is a way for us to be more familiar with the Word of God, as we
share about it every month. Bible sharing is not Bible study as such, but a way
of drawing insights from the Bible and allowing God to s peak to us personally
through His written Word. Various methods of Bible sharing could be utilized.

We however recommend the "7 step" method of Bible sharing.

1. Invite the Lord

2. Read the text


3. Pick out words and meditate on them
4. Let God speak to us in silence
5. Share what we have heard in our hearts
6. Discuss any task which our group is called to do
7. Pray together spontaneously

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Note: See detailed process of 7 Step Method of Bible Sharing in Household


Heads Manual Annexes.

D. Topical discussion

This is a time for formal discussion of a Christian topic. These topics could be
anything that has to do with the Christian life, which would be profitable for
our members to gain greater understanding. Especially recommended are
those topics that have to do with the life, mission, covenant and culture of
SFC.

1. For example, such topics are:

a. Personal daily prayer time


b. Daily reading of the Bible
c. Living fully the Christian life
- avoidance of wrongdoing
- good order in private life
- participation in Church life
d. Living as a good Christian in our family
e. Christian manly and womanly character
f. Christian courtship
g. Christian service
h. Christian fellowship
i. Priority setting/weekly schedule
j. TV and media
k. Spiritual gifts

2. Furthermore, certain publications, sharing or teachings may be used


as a household meeting topic, to wit:

a. Teachings contained in our newsletter.


b. Topics contained in the various books that we publish.
c. Articles of interest in "God's Word Today" or other similar praye r
or Scripture guides.
d. Teachings or exhortations given at the monthly prayer meeting.
e. Taped talks or teachings by renowned personages.

It should be noticed that this cycle of topics for the second year and beyond
is such that there is no burden on the household head to be always thinking
up of what to take up during the household meetings.

1. For personal sharing, the household head would simply moderate the
sharing and keep the interaction active and life giving.

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2. For the Bible sharing, the household head merely chooses the
particular verses to be taken up.
3. For the topical discussion, the household head chooses the topic,
taking from the vast array of materials available to him/her. Thus he
simply moderates the discussion. Thus the household heads are not
burdened by "technical" preparation for the meetings, but can focus
more on "spiritual" preparation.

This cycle is something the household head is free to follow or not. The
household head has a good amount of flexibility as to how to handle the
household meeting and what to take up. The important thing is that the
conduct of the meeting contributes to the achievement of the stated purpose
of our having households and that is to build an environment of support for
the Christian life of our members.

V. GROUP ACTIVITIES

A. Aside from what has been taken up as proper to the activities of a household
group, there are many other things that can be done as well. It is up to the
household head to discern the needs of his/her members individually and as
a group, and to act accordingly. These other activities may be in lieu of the
normal household activity (with approval of the Unit Head) or in addition to
it. Some such activities are:

1. Healing sessions/praying over


2. Intercessory prayers
3. One-to-one
4. Video sessions
5. Socials (sports, outings, picnics, etc.)
6. Lord's Day celebration

B. Other activities are welcome so long as they make a positive contribution to


the support and strengthening of the Christian life of single men and women,
within the context of SFC.

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ANNEXES

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HHO WORKSHOPS

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HOUSEHOLD HEADS ORIENTATION


Workshop No. 1 : CONDUCTING ONE TO ONES

Expanded Outline

Introduction

One to one is a very important pastoral tool wherein the household head talks
individually to each member to address concerns that cannot be brought up in the
household. It is also a venue where the household head can get to know each
member in a deeper way. One to one is done, not only to address concerns but also
but more essentially, to help the household head guide and pastor his or her
members.

On the minimum, one to ones should be done regularly once a quarter. If serious
and urgent concerns will arise, a one to ones should be done even if it is not in
schedule.

A. Prior to the One -to-Ones

1. Schedule the one-to-one at least a week before the actual date.

2. Pray and discern God’s direction for the one-to-one.

a. Personal Life
b. Family Life
c. Career Life
d. Prayer Life
e. Love Life
f. Service Life

3. Give advice on the topic of the one-to-one so that he/she can also pray for
leading, revelation.

4. Set up the one-to-one in an appropriate venue at an appropriate time.


Appropriate venue – a place where both parties can discuss with ease
and comfort; a quiet, private place.
- preferably at home of either party.
- free from disturbances, phone calls.

 Appropriate time – both parties free at this time, no pressing


appointments that may disrupt free flow of discussion
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B. On the Day of the One-to-Ones

1. Leader conducting one-to-one should be at the venue 15 minutes prior or


exactly at the agreed- on time.

2. As soon as he/she arrives and settles down, leader should start the one-to-
one.

3. Have a short opening prayer, invoking openness, honesty and wisdom.

4. Then state the purpose/direction of the one-to-one; what the activity hopes
to accomplish; and how it will help you pastor him in his spiritual life.

5. Initiate the first question. But in the ensuing discussion, leader should be
more of a listener trying to absorb as much of what he/she is trying to say.

6. After every appropriate ending, leader summarizes points taken up and


integrates them to points earlier discussed to assure continuity.

7. Leader should take note of pastoral issues that need to be discussed more
incisively. An action plan to address the pastoral issues raised must be
discussed.

8. Leader summarizes points shared, including actions agreed on for pastoral


issues. He then asks if there are additional points that he/she may have
missed and wishes to ask.

9. Leader closes with a short prayer of thanksgiving and empowerment.

C. Post On e-to-Ones

1. One-to-one dialogue between the HH head and SFC member should be


scheduled every quarter. The entire dialogue may take a maximum of two
hours.

2. For succeeding one-to-ones, Household Head should refer to outputs of

previous one-to-one.
3. Leader should follow through with the SFC member action points of the one-
to-one in between the scheduled sessions.

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D. Tips for the Leader

1. Leader should coach/facilitate the SFC member to articulate/express


him/herself. Practice active listening techniques – asking follow-up questions,
paraphrasing.

2. Leader’s intent should be more knowing the member better through what he
is sharing, more than giving correction, reprimanding.

3. Leader should have a mental picture of the key points of the sharing,
especially those items with pastoral implications.

4. Writing down key points is not an option as this can intimidate the member
and affect the openness with which the sharing is being made.

5. Leader should take care that the discussion does not fall into a corporate vs.,
personal tone. This is still a personal dialogue, even if guidelines are given for
order and efficiency.

Workshop Prop er:

1. Divide the participants into a group of three members.


2. Every member of the group will be assigned a specific role.
 Member – the one who will act as the member who was invited for a
one-to-one.
 Household Head – the one who will conduct the one-to-one.
 Observer – will take note of the good practices and things to improve
on in the one-to-one that was conducted.
3. If time allows it, the group members can rotate roles to make them
experience the actual workshop.
4. The workshop facilitator will process and give more inputs as needed by the
group.

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HOUSEHOLD HEADS ORIENTATION


Workshop No. 2 : GIVING A TALK / SHARING

Expanded Outline

I. Introduction
During households, an atmosphere is created wherein the members receive
learnings in the form of talks or teachings. After which, they are encouraged to open
up and share about God’s messages to them as inspired by the teachings.

Therefore, it is the Household heads’ important task to prepare and deliver


effectively a discerned talk or topic and facilitate a healthy participation from his/her
members in the sharing that follows.

This workshop aims to give the Household head a basic guide on how to deliver talks
or share a personal testimony that can be a source of learning and life for his/her
members in the household.

II. Giving a Talk


a. Preparing for a talk

1. Begin with the end in mind.

a. Know what you want your members to hear and


experience.
b. People can see if you believe in what you are saying. In
this way you can come up with your own example. Your
examples will be more effective because they are
personal. (e.g. God’s love in your life)

2. Prepare your outline.

a. As you go through the outline, begin finding out ways to


get across your message. What does my audience need to
hear? How can I effectively bring that mess age across?
b. Imagery is important. Come up with examples, anecdotes,
stories that might help illustrate your point.
c. Inject stories. People prefer hearing stories rather than
theoretical teachings.
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d. Make your outline personal. Don’t preach---share. People


are not looking for teachers, but witnesses. People that
they can relate with and where they see the work of the
Lord actually taking place.

3. Prayer

 Let the Holy Spirit guide you. Ask the Lord what He wants
you to say to your audience.

b. Presenting the Outline

1. Prayer

 Pray as you speak. Listen to the Lord.

2. Speaking to the Audience

 Communicate to the people, look at them, and scan.


 Rapport- be able to generate good reaction from your
audience. This is where jokes are useful.

3. Clarity

 Your audience s hould have an idea where you are.


 Number your points
 Speak clearly with enough volume and pitch. (e.g. use a
microphone/sound sys tem if you need to.)

4. Tailor-fitting Your Talk (Speak in a way that fits your


audience).

 To particular age group: language and examples that your


audience can relate to.
 To the level of commitment of audience.
 Never use green/ negative humor.

5. Posture
 Be confident
 Avoid mannerisms (e.g. letting your hands play around)
 Walk around. Use helpful gestures.

6. Dressing Decently

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7. Time

 Be ready to adjust your talk depending on the time.


 The ideal time for a talk usually ranges between 30 to 45
minutes. For a Household Prayer Meeting 15 minutes will
do.

8. Ending With a High Note

 Challenge/ encourage your audience at the end of your


talk.

c. Attitudes

1. Good speakers are made not born.

2. Trust in the Lord. God often allows us to experience this so


that it will allow us to pray.

3. It is the Lord’s work to save, not yours.

a. Don’t impress. Speak only what the Lord wants you to say.
if you have prepared, you’ve done your part. The Lord
does the rest.
b. Your goal is not to make the participants cry or to convince
them, but to tell the truth.
“ The word of the Lord is never spoken in vain.”
c. Speak your best, because it is the Lord who is asking you --
-Be a faithful mouthpiece of the Lord.

4. Love the people you are speaking to. As Christ allowed you to
experience this love, He wants the people you are speaking to,
to experience it as well.

5. Remember that they need the Lord, and that’s why you are
speaking to them.

6. Availability

a. Accept assignments to speak or share.


b. Not accepting would be tantamount to saying that God
has not been able to do anything in your life.

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III. Giving a Sharing

A. How to Share your Personal Testimony

1. Personal Testimonies given after a talk is used to show that what is said in
the talk can actually happen. These are stories of “bad to good” or “good
to better” s ituations in our lives.

2. The ABC’s of Sharing:


A – Audible
B – Brief
C – Christ-centered

3. Prepare your personal testimony/ sharing.

 Choose one aspect in your life that the Lord is working in, one that is
related to the talk being g iven. (e.g. resentment)

 Divide your sharing into 3 parts:


- Before: share what you were experiencing in that area of your life
before the Lord began to work. (E.g. I was resentful of my
parents...)

- During: show what the turning point was. What did the Lord do?
(E.g. I found out the Lord forgave me so I should forgive...)
- After: How has that area in your life improved so far. (E.g. Slowly
my relationship with my parents is healing. We can now talk to
each other more...)

 The ideal time for sharing your personal testimony is 3 to 5 minutes.

 Make your sharing personal, concrete. This makes it real.

 Stick only to what is true. Don’t exaggerate your sharing.

A. Attitudes


Be confident. It is good to note that nobody will disagree with your
sharing because it’s subjective.

 Whatever you are sharing, somebody out there needs to hear your
story. Somebody will be able to relate with your experience.

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 As the Lord continues to work in new areas of your life, so will your
sharing evolve as well. Update your sharing.

Workshop Prop er:

1. Divide the participants into groups of four (4) members each.

2. Assign a leader who will act as the Household head of the group.
3. Sample household topics will be prepared and written on pieces of paper
(e.g. CLP talks, etc.) and distributed randomly to the assigned household
heads.
4. The assigned household heads will be given 5-10 minutes to prepare a short
talk/topic about it.
5. As the household heads prepare, the workshop facilitator will instruct all the
group members to actively listen to their assigned household heads later.
After the talk of their household heads, their task is to give
feedbacks/observations as to how their household head delivered his/her
talk and sharing.
6. Once ready, the assigned household head will go to his/her group and then
deliver the talk/topic like in a normal household and then give his/her
sharing afterwards. Allot about 15 minutes for this.
7. After the talk, the group will now discuss among themselves their feedbacks
and observations.
8. The workshop facilitator will process and give more inputs as needed by the
group.

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HOUSEHOLD HEADS ORIENTATION


Workshop No. 3 : WORSHIP LEADING - IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD

Expanded Outline

“I have asked the Lord for one thing, one thing only do I want: to live in the Lord’s

hou se all my life, to marvel there at His goodness, and to ask for His guidance.”
Isaiah 27:4

I. Introdu ction

Household is about coming together as brothers and sisters, worshipping God,


communicating in prayer and sharing life-giving testimonies of realizations and
experiences to each other. It is our basic venue to grow in faith and relationship
with God. It is important that we strive to make our households true to its
purpose.

As household heads and leaders in our community, it is important for us to have


thorough understanding of worship, which is an integral part of our household
meetings. We use this tool for us to connect and experience God’s holypresence in
our gathering. And as household heads we must know how to lead worship for our
members to grow closer to God.

II. Understand ing W orship

It is said in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship
Him in spirit and truth.” When we come to God in worship, we put things in their
proper perspective: Who is God and who are we? In doing s o, we must understand
what worship really is and what it is for. In context, worship is:

1. The central point of our gatherings. It’s supposed to be inspiring. Worship


should be nourishing and spirit-filled and must build up the body.

2. Coming into the loving, healing and mighty presence of Godand eventually
being in communion with God.

3. Paying homage to our King. Just like in the ancient times where people
regularly pay “tribute or tax, etc” to their king, we come to God admitting
everything we have is His and that He alone is worthy of our praise and
sacrifices.

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4. A foretaste of heaven. It is the time when we, in our “fallen, sinful, and
human natures,” are able to connect to God in spirit—the way it was meant
to be before our sins made it impossible for us to continually be in God’s
presence (as Adam and Eve were). It allows us a foretaste of the kind of
relationship we will have with God when we are made perfect in heaven.

When we say worship is putting things in proper perspective, it only means that we
acknowledge God’s greatness and marveling in His goodness - that He alone is
worthy to be p raised.

III. Levels of Worship

As we are taught in the community, there are three levels we usually go through
when we worship.

1. The first is when we start speaking words of PRAISE – or what we might be


likened to as “introductions” in any audience. This is where we honor God
and acknowledge His greatness

2. The second is WORSHIP – this is when we start saying how we feel and when
we begin to truly realize God’s greatness. In this level, people start to “offer”
themselves to God saying “I belong to you…my life is yours”.

3. The third is GLORY – this is when we actually come into the holy presence of
God. It is at this level that God speaks, we listen then we respond. This is
where we receive prophecies, visions, where we cry at the realization of
God’s love and mercy, where emotional and “physical’ healing takes place.

All these levels are just phasing to the one thing that we wish to achieve:
communion with God; that in our fallen state, we can actually bask in God’s
presence and experience heaven on earth.

IV. Sequenc e of Worship

1. Start the worship. Start by exhorting you members first .

a. Why do we need to exhort?

Exhortations can be liken to famous speeches in movies like Braveheart,


300, and Coach Carter. It is like giving a pep talk. It is about giving people
reason to worship. It is done before worship because we need to get
people ready to be in the Lord’s presence, and remind them why we
worship Him.

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It is an act of encouragement; we encourage people to come to God.


Exhortation is neither coercion nor manipulation; it falls into the area of
persuasion. To persuade is to encourage. We must understand that the
people gathered came from different settings and different state of heart.
Some are happy and joyful but some are weary and tired. We must never
assume that simply because people are gathered together in one place,
they are necessarily ready to worship. Through loving understanding, the
leader should bring them to a state of readiness, a place of open surrender
to the Holy Spirit.

b. Ho w do we exhort?

An exhortation need not be long but should be encouraging and should


acknowledge God’s greatness in our lives. Three to five minutes of
exhortation is more than enough. To exhort you can use a personal
sharing, a story or a bible verse as long as it is centered on God and will
inspire your listeners to worship God.

Deliver your exhortation with confidence and clarity, remember your goal
is encourage if what you say is vague and confusing you will miss the
point. Keep your exhortations simple and relatable but still inspiring.

2. Invite your members to worship and make the sign of the cross.

To formally engage in the presence of God make the sign of the cross.
Through this we acknowledge that we are in God’s presence and we are ready
to praise and worship him.

3. Sing songs; sing the two (2) fast songs first followed by the slow song. Do
some simultaneous praising after each fast song and after the slow song
invit e your members to sing in the Sp irit .

In a household meeting we use a full worship format, wherein we sing two


(2) fast songs and one (1) slow song. This is to enable our members to reach
the highest level in worship (glory level). Singing less than three (3) songs
may not be sufficient, singing more than three (3) songs may be too long and
dragging; three (3) songs are enough for you to reach the glory level in

worship.
In choosing your songs, choose songs that glorify/worship God and are
familiar to your members. Your members will have a hard time worshipping if
they do not know the s ong and if the s ong is not suitable for worship. Choose
songs that are intended for praise and worship, avoid songs that are intended
for contemporary/pop music.

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Days before your household pray and discern for the songs you will use, as
much as possible they are in line with your exhortation. Songs are very
important in worship because they act as vessels for us to worship fully. They
aid us in leading. That is why we need to choose the songs we will use
carefully.

4. Listening and sharing God’s message.

After singing a lot an ample time for listening to God, exhort your members
to listen to what God is telling them and then share it to the group. As the
leader, you can share a bible verse or gospel for the day or a personal
message from the Lord based from the leading of the Spirit.

5. Pray er proper

This is the part where you vocalize your prayers. You may follow the ACTS
(Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication) format. Encourage your
members to vocalize their prayers and express themselves in prayer.

 Adoration It is the part when we sing Songs of Praises and the


household head after the songs says praises and honor
to God acknowledging His goodness, power and

faithfulness in our lives.


 Contrition The household head says a short prayer for forgiveness
in behalf of the group not pertaining to a specific
person.
 Thanksgiving Starting from the head, every household member
should participate in saying their individual prayers of
thanksgiving. (Members’ response after every
thanksgiving: Yes Lord, We praise You and we thank
You.)
 Supplication Here every member of the household mentions their
individual prayers of petition and intercession.
[Members’ response after every petition: Yes Lord,
hear our prayer.]

6. Concluding prayer. End by reciting Catholic Prayers (like the Our father, Hail
Mary and the Glory Be) as a sign of our faith.

V. Guid elines in Wor ship Leading

1. Be S ensitive and Lead Until the End

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As a worship leader, you need to be sensitive in leading the worship session.


You don’t just lead to start and then leave them by themselves, guide them
until the whole session ends. Know the posture of your group. Remember
that your goal is to lead them to reach their highest level of worship. Be
sensitive with your group’s needs and the leading of the Holy Spirit. (Note:
The Speaker can give examples of his actual experiences in worship leading.)

2. Be a Model

Don’t expect your members to pray and worship hard if they cannot see it in
you. Human beings learn from example, be a model to your members. Be the
first ones to sing and clap, to raise hands in worship, to vocalize a prayer,
especially when your members are new or shy.

3. Be Patient and Encouraging

Be patient with our members. Do not expect that they are in the same
spiritual level as you are. But patience alone is not enough, you must also
learn to encourage and guide them. That way, they would know that you are
concerned with their growth and you want them to genuinely experience
God.

4. Per severe to improve

Have that desire to improve as a leader, keep on studying and learning how
to lead effectively. Read books and ask your leaders for tips. Observing other
people will also help. We do this so that we will become the best leader for
our members and we will glorify God in the process.

VI. Conclusion

“And all of us, with our unveiled faces like mirrors reflecting the glory of the
Lord, are being transformed into the image that we reflect in brighter and
brighter glory ; this is the working o f the Lord who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NJB)

Like Moses, when people are brought into God’s presence, they are changed –

from “one degree of glory to the next”.This is the privilege we have as household
heads and leaders of our community —to help people experience the pure joy
and ecstasy of God’s presence in worship. It should be our intention to always
bring people into this level of communion and reconciliation with Jesus in spirit
and our own joy to see them somehow changed.

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ORIENTATION OF NEW HOUSEHOLDS TO SFC

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ORIENTATION PROGRAM OBJECTIVES AND MECHANICS

I. Introduction

This manual is for the use of household heads in conducting their household
meetings right after the Christian Life Program (CLP). It covers the three-
month period between the CLP and the next part of our formation program
which is the Covenant Orientation Weekend.

II. Objectives

Following are the objectives of the Orientation Phase:

A. This orientation program seeks to develop an atmosphere where


members in the household feel comfortable with one another and are
growing in their relationship as brethren.

B. The program also aims to explain the purpose and dynamics of

household meetings.
C. It intends to establish among the household members clear expectations
of the:

1. Role of the household head.

2. Role of household members.

3. Meeting place, time and schedule.

4. Attitude of members to the household head and to each other.

D. The program also seeks to develop an atmosphere of trust and openness


among the members.

E. It sets-up the structure whereby household members can begin to share


and experience a life lived under the power of the Holy Spirit.

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III. Role of Ho usehold Heads

Overall, the role of the household head is to introduce the members into the
pattern of life of SFC and to see to it that members are gradually being
integrated into the culture of SFC.

More specifically, household leaders are expected to do, among others, the
following:

A. Help members adjust and adapt into a new pattern of life and behaviour;

B. Help members develop an attitude of trust and confidence in the Lord


and with one another;

C. Assist members to appreciate their new way of life; Help members to


understand and appreciate the values and practices of SFC.

IV. Content of the Meeting s

Since there are 2 household meetings in a month, this 3-month phase may
encompass at least 6 household meetings in all. Following are the proposed
contents for each of these meetings. The household head may opt to have
topics or content other than these, as long as the basic objectives for this
phase are met.

Meeting No. 1

1. Have a short prayer to start. Have one song and then a prayer by the
household head .

2. Start off with brief introductions by each member of the household,


including the leaders, who should go first.
a. These should be only basic information, such as: name, age,
residence, work, children.
b. It should be only about 5 minutes per member.

Note: It would be good to collate basic information about the household


members and give these out to everyone for their respective references.
This can include: names, residence, birth dates, telephone, work and
family info.

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3. Explain the following (refer to your household head's manual):


a. Purpose of household meetings (Sec. A-2)
b. Your role as household head (Sec. B-2)
c. Attendance (Sec. C-2)
d. Ingredients (Sec. D-3)

4. Expound on how you will be conducting the time of worship starting the
next meeting.
a. Explain the sequence (Sec. D-3-a).
b. Exhort participation – in singing, praising, exercise of spiritual gifts,
individual prayers of thanksgiving and petition.

5. Have a time for questions and answers.

6. Agree on your subsequent meetings.


a. What day?
b. What time? Have an "arrival time" and a "starting time", usually about
15 minutes later. Stress that the meeting will start punctually on the
designated starting time.
c. Where? For ease of remembering, do the rotation of venues based on
the surnames of the members, going alphabetically.

7. Remind everyone to have his or her own Bible and to bring it to every
meeting.

8. Have your time of fellowship. Try to keep the whole meeting within 2 1/2
hours.

Meeting No. 2

1. Have full worship.

2. If anyone was late, exhort all to punctuality.

3. Examine the time of worship.


a. Did people participate actively?

b.
c. Discuss thetodynamics
Exhort all a bit.
greater participation and openness to the leading of the
Holy Spirit.

2. Go over the desired attitudes of members (Sec. C -1).

3. Go quickly over the Bible Reading Guide.

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. Does everyone have his/her own Bible?


. Encourage faithfulness to daily Bible reading, using the guide.

4. Encourage all to read one spiritual book a month, drawing from our
publications in CFC/FLAME Ministries.

5. Surface any concerns the members might have.

6. Have your time of fellowship.

Meeting No. 3

1. Have full worship.

2. Before the sharing, encourage openness. Reiterate the principle of


confidentiality (Sec. C-1-b).

3. Have the time of sharing.

4. Topic:
a. How they were introduced to SFC and what made them decide to
join.
b. What changes are they observing or experiencing in their lives –
home, office, and relationships.

5. Surface any concerns they might still have regarding SFC and their
household group.

6. Have your time of fellowship.

Meeting No. 4

1. Full worship, fellowship.

2. Topic: Share on personal prayer and Bible reading.

Meeting No. 5

1. Full worship, discussion/sharing, and fellowship.


2. Topic: Share on personal life – interests, hobbies, work, schedule of
activities, etc.
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Meeting No. 6

1. Full worship, discussion/sharing, and fellowship.

2. Topic: Share on family life – relationship with spouse, relationship with


children, family schedule, family prayer, family recreation, etc.

Meeting No. 7

1. Full worship, discussion/sharing, and fellowship.

2. Topic: Share on how they are experiencing growth in and through SFC.

Meeting No. 8

1. Have full worship.

2. Discuss the SFC logo.


a. Do they understand what CFC and SFC stand for?
b. Where are they at in relation to who they ought to be and what they
ought to be for in CFC Singles for Christ?

3. Have your time of fellowship.

Meeting No. 9

1. Full worship, discussion/sharing, and fellowship.

2. Topic for sharing:


a. How are they experiencing personal conversion and developing their

personal relationship with Jes us?


b. How are they appreciating God's call to be in a particular body, which
is SFC?

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Note

1. Whenever there is a fifth week in the month, this can be devoted to a time of
fellowship or a purely social activity. You may choose to do a variety of
activities, either in a home or outside.

2. The next phase after this Orientation of New Households is a two-day retreat
or weekend retreat referred to as the "Covenant Orientation". In case this is
scheduled early, some of the topics of the above mentioned meetings will
have to wait for another time. In case the recollection is late, then there will
be added household meetings where the topics will have to be decided on by
the household head. You have a variety of sources for topics: the CLP talks,
Christian books, etc.

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BIBLE SHARING

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The Seven Step Methods

The Aims of the 7-Step Method


1. To experience the presence of the Risen Lord
2. To help each member of the g roup to be touched personally by the word
3. To encourage mutual deepening in faith by personal s haring
4. To deepen personal bonds among members of the group
5. To create trust within the group
6. To create a “spiritual climate” for planning the action of the communi
ty

The 7-Step Method


1. WE INVITE THE LORD
– Will someone, pleas e, invite Jesus in a prayer

2. WE READ THE TEXT


– Let us open ... chapter...
– The Word of God is read in a listening manner with “the ear of one’s
heart.”
– “One is attentive to the phrase, sentence o r one word that is
noticed.” Thomas Keating

3. WE PICK OUT WORDS AND MEDITATE ON THEM

– We pick out words or short phrases, read them aloud prayerfully, and
keep silence in between.
– Reflect on the text of the passage, thinking about how to apply to
one's own life.
– Gravitate to any particular phrase or word that seems to be of
particular important.
– This should not be confused with exegesis, but is a very personal
reading of the Scripture and application to one's own life.

4. WE LET GOD SPEAK TO US IN SILENCE


– We keep silence for ... minutes and allow God to speak to us.
– This step is about responding to God in prayer.
– Respond to the passage by opening the heart to God.
– This is not primarily an intellectual exercise, but more of t he
beginning of a conversation with God. Any conversation must allow
for both sides to communicate, and this most unfamiliar act is
allowing oneself to be open to hea ring God speak.

5. WE SHARE WHAT WE HAVE HEARD IN OUR HEARTS


– Which word has touched you personally?

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– How did we live our "Wordof Life (WOL)”? (WOL is a word or phrase
taken from the actual text which was used by the group at a previous
meeting. WOL is usually chosen once a month at the end of Step 5)

6. WE DISCUSS ANY TASK WHICH OUR GROUP IS CALLED TO DO.


– Report on previous task
– Which new task has to be done?

7. WE PRAY TOGETHER SPONTANEOUSLY


– (We end with a prayer/song which all know by heart).

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SFC HOUSEHOLD SUPPLEMENTARY TOPICS

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About th e HOUSEHOLD SUPPLEMENTARY TOPICS

The household topics are based on the different weekend teachings/retreats of the
ministry. The different topics serve as a pastoral formation tool that will beef up the
message(s) of the retreats.

It is designed to emphasize and accentuate the central theme of each of the retreat
thus helping the members in their discovery and pursuit of their vocation and
mission in life. In addition, the members can further discuss what they have learned
during the weekend retreats. They will also have the time to share their thoughts
and realizations at the same time lis ten to their co-household members.

Each weekend retreat has at least three (3) topics to be used the household. Below
are the lists of retreats and their corresponding household to pics.

STAGE 1 STAGE 2
Covenant Orientation Weekend Christ Pursuit Weekend
 His Presents or His Presence  In Pursuit Of
 


Team Pilg rims
The Danger of Compromise 
Relentless Suitor
The Pearl of Great Price
Christian Character Weekend
 Anger Danger
 Be Not Afraid
 Humility is the Key
 Who is in Control
Knights Tale Intimacy Weekend
 Disciplined Disciples  Chastity Rocks
 Ever Man’s Battle  Freedom to Love
 Unleash the Lion  Search is Over
Princess Diaries  The Broken Pot
 Never Alone
 True Beauty
 Waiting

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HOUSEHOLD TOPIC FOLLOW UP F OR COW – STAGE 1


HIS PRESENTS OR HIS PRESENCE

“Persevere in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Col.4:2

One of the most essentials in the life of a believer is prayer. Just as breathing is vital
to our physical being, prayer is vital in our spiritual life. Prayer is our intimate
connection to God, who is the source of our life (Jn 15:5).

The life Jesus lived is a life full of prayer. Most of the times, His disciples would find
Him praying. Every time Jesus faced a tough trial, an important decision, or after
performing a miracle He devoted time to pray. Before He chose His disciples, He
prayed (Lk 6:12). When the roman soldiers arrested Him, He was praying (Jn 17).
After performing miracle that fed thousands, He went alone to pray (Mtt 14:23). Just
like Jesus our life must also be a life of prayer.

Many times we come to pray because we want to ask for something from God.
Though this is isn’t bad, but prayer is more than just asking. It is more than just
presenting to God our wish lists before rushing to our next schedule. Prayer is also

about being isgrateful


lists. Prayer --presenting
really about talking to
to Him
God our ‘thank in
whatever you’ listheart,
your more your
than desire,
our ‘give me’
your
longing, your hopes and dreams and more importantly, it is allowing Him to talk to.

The more we spent time in prayer (talking and listening), we will come to know Him
more, understand Him better, love Him even more, discover His plan for us, in other
words, a deeper relationship with Him.

In the apex of prayer, His presence is the ultimate present. His presence is the
greatest gift.

Guide question(s):
 How is your prayer life?
 Which do you present God more, ‘thank you’ list or ‘give me’ list?

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HOUSEHOLD TOPIC FOLLOW UP FOR COW– STAGE 1


TEAM PILGRIMS

Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works. Do not
absent yourself from your own assemblies, as some do, but encourage each other;”
Heb 10:24-25

God designed to belong in a community. We are not created for isolation but to be
together in a community. Our families are our communities, where we work is our
community, our school is our community, in our hobbies and sports our team is our
community.

As followers of Christ, we are also to be belonged in a community– a community


who has the same belief in God, a community who desires in seeking God’s will in
their lives. This community of believers can build us up, inspire us to continue the
good fight, correct us when we sin, celebrate with us in our victories and comfort us
in our defeats.

God did not create us for isolation. We cannot live and function well alone. We
cannot fulfill our purpose without a community. God’s mandate to us is more

revealed as we participate in the life and miss ion of the community were we belong.
St. Paul reminds us to ‘not absent ourselves from the assemblies’ because he
understands the guidance and support from the community can help us in becoming
the person that God meant us to be

But we also need to understand there is no perfect community. If we’ll search for
one, we’ll never find one. This is because communities are composed of imperfect
beings. Each community has its own strengths and its own weakness. We must not
focus on the flaws; instead, focus on God and how He is using imperfect people for
His glory.

Aside from what we can get from taking part in a community, we can also give and
share our spiritual gifts. Our time, talent and treasure will help build up the church
and make it even stronger.

Guide question(s):
 What benefits do you receive in being part of a community?
 On the other hand, what are you doing in building up your community?
 How will you positively respond to the imperfections of your community?

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HOUSEHOLD TOPIC FOLLOW UP FOR COW– STAGE 1


THE DANGER OF COMPROMISE

“So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin.” James 4:17

We live in a world of compromise. Businessmen compromise to keep profit margins


high. Politicians compromise their principles to secure votes. Christians compromise
God’s teachings to achieve promotions, land better jobs or achieve honor and fame.
We compromise our values just to be accepted by our friends. This is the dilemma
that every believers face: How can we live in this world without compromising our
faith?

Time and again, God is reminding us not to compromise His word with the values of
the world. We are to uphold His righteousness and seek His kingdom no matter
what. We must not sell out our Christian values either for fame, pleasure,
acceptance, honor and power.

One tiny concession may appear irrelevant, but it can lead to total destruction. Most
of our downfall started in little things. This is how Satan is deceiving us – telling us
that little things don’t matter, small sins don’t hurt. Little sins slowly push us away

from God, until we are far from shore and realize that we already in the middle of
the ocean.

Though there are things that we can give in to, God’s word is not one of them. We
are to love God with all our heart, with all our strength and with all our mind (Mtt
22:37). In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your
efforts with success (Pro 3:6). Christ’s presence should be real in our lives that
people around you are drawn to you. God’s light must shine in us; it shines so bright
that the darkness around us will be dispelled. That’s why, when we refuse to
compromise and seek His kingdom first, all these things will given unto us (Mtt 6:33).

Guide question(s):
 How can we live our faith without compromise?
 Is it possible to maintain our integrity, when external pressures are
constantly alluring us to put aside our Christian values/beliefs?

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HOUSEHOLD TOPIC FOLLOW UP F OR CCW – STA GE 1


AN GER DANGER

Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun set on your anger, and do not leave room
for the devil. Eph.4:26-27

Everyone
ends up usstruggles,
sinning. to
It sivarying
becausedegrees,
we fail with anger. Most
to distinguish of theanger
righteous times,from
ours inful
anger
anger. That’s why proper handling it is a must. More then 50 percent of people who
undergo counseling have problems have problems in dealing with anger. It can break
communication, destroy relationship, and to some extent have a negative impact on
one’s physical health.

Anger acts as a signal. It notifies us that there are other people attempting to or
have intruded our and/or other people’s boundaries. It can become sinful when it is
motivated by pride, distorts God’s purposes or when it is allowedto stay remain in
us. One obvious sign that anger has turned to sin is when, instead of attacking the
problem at hand, we attack the wrongdoer. It can lead us in cursing, screaming,
attacking physically, and hurling hurtful words. Nor it does lead in self-pity, despair,
or withdrawing from people.
Righteous anger on the other hand, focuses not on the sinner but the actual sin. It
focuses on how people offend God and His kingdom, not ours and our name. The
Christian way to handle it is by seeing Jesus in the trial up to his death on the cross.
He was abused, rejected, betrayed, hurt physically, maligned but instead of hurling
at them cosmic matter, wiping them out of the face of the earth, which He can, He
chose not to. Proverbs 29:11 says it all, “Fools givevent to all their anger; but the
wise, biding their time, control it.” The necessary provision is that there is no shade
of hatred and no intention of revenge.

We cannot control how others react or respond, but we can definitely choose to
respond positively. Rising above our anger cannot happen overnight. But through
discernment, prayer and constantly asking for God’s grace.

Finally, when we fail to manage it, we must be humble to accept it and ask for
forgiveness. After all “The Lord is gracious and mer ciful, slow to anger and
abounding in steadfast love (Psalm 145:8).

Guide question(s):
 What makes you angry / what annoys you?
 How do you intend to manage it the next time it happens?

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HOUSEHOLD TOPIC FOLLOW UP F OR CCW – STA GE 1


BE NOT AFRAID

“But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, Jacob, and formed you, Israel: Do
not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine.”
Isaiah 43:1

Fear, just like the other emotions, is a God-given emotion. It is our default reaction
when we feel threatened. It warns us of an impeding danger. It als o protects us from
incoming risks. If not handled properly, it can prevent us from fully experiencing
God’s will and plan for our life.

Generally, there are two types of fear: External, which caused by outside factors. We
usually acquire it if we had a negative encounter in the past. The other type is
internal, which still caused by outside factors but can have a devastating effect in our
personal character. The later, is more harmful because it can change our views in
life, doubt God’s power over it, lead us to sin, and to some extent, immobilize us and
thus preventing us from experiencing the fullness of life.

The best antidote to this fear is courage. Courage believes that in spite of the fear,
we are to face it squarely and with God’s grace surpass it. Because most of God’s
succeeding instructions are given after we overcome our fears (Noah feared that

people might ridiculed him; Moses feared that might he not be able to lead the
Israelites to the Promise land; Virgin Mary feared that people might ostracize her
because she is pregnant without a man.).

If we will think about it, most fears are just the results of our “mights”. My boss
might turn down my proposal, the audience might not understand me, I might get
hurt again, et al. We need to see it in God’s perspective. Our fears and our “mights”
are nothing compared to the MIGHT of God.

Courage lets us look beyond our fear which, if used properly and submitted to the
Lord, is actually one of God’s finest gifts. Whenever we face the uncertainties of life,
or the certainty of suffering and trials, we must: We go to Him. We bow before Him.
We trust in Him.

Our aim is not to remove our fears, but to overcome it. It might come again, but if it
does, we know how to face it. Our fears must not become stumbling blocks but
instead be stepping stones for us to achieve greater heights for God.

Guide question(s):
 What are my deepest fear(s) in life?
 How do God wants me to overcome it?
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HOUSEHOLD TOPIC FOLLOW UP FO R CCW – STA GE 1


HUMILITY IS THE KEY

“for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be
exalted.” Lk. 14:11

In this world, there are two ways to achieve high self esteem, the world’s way and
God’s way. The world’s way is to strive and push your way up. Grabbing every
opportunity, even if you step on others, for praise and recognition. Sometimes even
manipulating others just to get their attention.

But God’s way is totally different. It is only by humbling u


orselves that we receive
recognition not from people but from Him who created us. We don’t work our way
up, instead, we let God increase and ourselves decrease.

Jesus warned us about striving for position and praise (Lk. 14:7-11). Where a man,
while attending a banquet, tried to take the places of honor. Only to be humiliated
because the owner asked him to move to the least honorable seat. Jesus advised us
to take the lowest seat and allow others to exalt you.

And when we get praises and recognition from others, which is unavoidable, we

must not take the credit. Instead, we are to point to God who is the One who must
receive all the praises. Because when the praises go up, the glory of God comes
down on us.

Guide question(s):
 How can I exercise humility in my workplace? In my community (SFC)?

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WHO IS IN CONTROL?

“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self
-
control.” 2Tim 1:7

Emotions,
fake it, butwe all have
sooner it andifthey
or later, not are here to
handled stay. We
properly willmay
takehide it, ignore
its toll on us.itThey
or even
are
ever present in us. They are present as the weather surrounding us. That’s why, it is
vital that every believer must strive to be emotionally stable. Not handling it
properly, may not only hurt us but also the people surrounding us.

We must be above our emotions and not the other way around. We must not be
easily get affected with or stirred by emotion; neither have a tendency to heavily
rely on emotion. We must not be easily swayed by it or make any major decision
while we are experiencing ‘emotional high.’ While wisdom says wait, our emotions
say hurry.

God designed our emotions to be gauges and not guides. They are meant to reveal
to you and not to dictate you. How we deal with it reveals so much about us. If we
believe that we are not able to manage our emotions properly, we need to begin to
pray, seek God and ask for His grace for emotional maturity.

Emotions cannot be avoided, but surely through the Holy Spirit we can learn to
manage them. As the saying goes, “he who lives by emotions lives without
principle.”

Guide question(s):
 Cite an experience where you did not able to control or manage your
emotion(s). How did it affect you and other people?
 How will you handle if it will happen again?

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HOUSEHOLD TOPIC FOLLOW UP FOR KT– STAGE 1


DISCIPLINED DISCIPLES

Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown,
but we an imperishable one. 1Cor 9:25

Most of the world’s top athlete’s highlights disciplined as one of their core
ingredients. From Manny Pacquiao who does hundreds of sit-ups a day to Michael
Jordan who spent his off season taking hundreds of jumpers a day until it was
perfect. These and other men spent hours a day, putting time, effort and energy just
to be the finest in their chosen fields.

On the other hand, discipline is a prerequisite for a disciple of Christ. This is what
modern disciples need the most but wants the least. A well disciplined disciple
knows how to stay focused on the most essential things in life, learning to prioritize
first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness in his daily living. He has clearly
defines goals and take the necessary steps in achieving them without jeopardizing
his Christian values.

To be a disciplined disciple always starts in small things. You will never develop this
character instantly. It does not happen overnight. One must start in small things,

patiently doing it everyday until it becomes part of your character.

Guide question(s):
 In which areas of my life can I apply disciple to better reflect a disciple of
Christ?
a) Finances
b) Health
c) Job
d) Prayer
e) Relationships
f) Others

 What would it mean for you to trust God by allowing His Holy Spirit to work
in that area?

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HOUSEHOLD TOPIC FOLLOW UP FOR KT– STAGE 1


EVERY MAN’S BATTLE

“Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is
fitting among holy one.” Eph.5:3

Sexual purity is one of the major issues that every person is facing with, especially
men. Men struggle intensely against this. Some even live much of their lives
dominated by purity issues. It has become so prevalent, even within followers of
Christ. In 2006, the pornography industry with its $97 billion revenue, is larger than
the revenues of the top technology companies combined: Microsoft, Google,
Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix and EarthLink

As Christian men, we need to address this with the sense of urgency, since this issue
is one of the most pressing issues in our society today. It has created havoc in the
personal lives of men, destroyed relationships and families, and shattered their
dreams. It has even said that 99% of men admit they struggle on sexual purity and
the remaining 1% are lying.

We need to pursue purity of heart, mind and soul at all cost. It is not just an option
but a necessity.

There is no point in pursuing God’s will in other areas when you are choosing to live
in sexual impurity in your mind or body. Rather than giving in to sexual impurity for
pleasure, instead, we need channel our desire in building our relationship with Christ
– the greatest pleasure and joy that we can have. We can do this by basking in the
presence of God in prayer, meditating in His words and promises, reading Christian
books, singing and listening to Christian songs, and being with other Christian
brethren who can guide and help you in pursuing sexual purity, knowing that sexual
purity is the healthiest physical, emotional and s piritual choice.

Finally, be determined to seek first God and His righteousness. Loving God and loving
others is the ultimate experience and the purpose God made us for.

Guide question(s):
 Why is sexual purity important?
 Which area in your sexual purity are you most struggling to?
 Are you ready to commit or recommit yourself to a life of sexual purity?

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HOUSEHOLD TOPIC FOLLOW UP FOR KT– STAGE 1


UNLEASH THE LION

“Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong.” 1Cor.16:13

Let’s be real, it’s is very hard to be a real man, much less a Christian man. In our
world today were there are so many distractions, quick fixes and all those ‘instant’,
real men seems hard to find or to be. We see men destroying instead of building;
harming instead of protecting; taking advantage instead of self-giving. Satan has
seems to be successful in concealing the Godly man in us.

Since time immemorial God has been looking for real men to lead His people. He has
been searching them to be His guiding light from Abraham to David, from John to
Paul; Real men who will stand up for Him whether it’s popular or unpopular thing to
do; Men who are not just pretending to be followers of God, but men who will stand
up for God and His people.

If there ever was a time when we needed the true men of God to stand up and be
counted, this is that time. Deep inside us is a lion that sleeps. Within ourheart is a
passion waiting to ignite. God has placed in us a powerful desire to take charge with
passion, stand firm in the faith, fight the good fight, serve and protect, give and

sacrifice. God has intended us to be lions who take charge of the jungle. We are
meant to be warriors, taking lead in His mission. The real roar of the true man of
God should be "whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of
the word." (Acts 6:4).

The real gauge of real manhood is what St. Paul describes it“until we all attain to the
unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of
the full stature of Christ, so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and
swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their
cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming” (Eph.4:13 -14). We are to be real men
of faith, integrity, and uncompromising character. Men who will be stand firm in the
truth, dis ciplined and anchored in the Spirit, faithful and devoted in prayer. The men
who build Christ’s church are warriors, fig hters, and defenders who lay their lives on
the line and teach us how to run His race.

Unleash the victor in you. Unleash the lion in you. Stand up and be counted. Be what
God has intended you to be.

Guide question(s):

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 Think about a challenge or opportunity you currently facing (or may face in
the future) that will require courage. What steps are you going to make in
order to prepare yourself?
 Consider the consequences you may face as a result of doing what is right
and just. Are you willing to pay the price

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HOUSEHOLD TOPIC FOLLOW UP FOR PD – STAG E 1


NEVER ALONE

“The Lord is my Shepherd, there’s nothing I shall lack.” Ps. 23:1

There are a couple of things that single women ask today: “What will I do to make

myself more
come? Is beautiful
he the andHow
right one? attractive? When
will I know will the
if he’s my one?
knight in shinning
How do I knowarmor
if Godever
has
prepared someone for me? How long will I have to wait?”

Many times single women think that marriage will complete them, that by marrying
their prince charming will finally make the jigsaw puzzle complete. We dream that
one day God will let them walk the aisle– as if their sole purpose in life is to get
married. Even at times, the emphasis communities put on marriage is so great that
the single life is deemed as second best life. This often leads to Christian women to
settle for men who are selfish, insecure and mediocre just to fulfill ‘God’s will’ in
their life.

Whether you’re single or married, you can still be complete. It’s all about Finding
God in your pre-marital state. Your singleness is part of your journey and not a
dungeon where you need to get out as soon as possible. This moment is God’s
moment for you. This is His perfect moment for you. Don’t waste this season. Don’t
throw this moment. Live this day fully knowing that as long as you God in you, you’ll
be complete. It doesn’t matter what season you are in right now. What matters most
is God is always present in every season of your life.

It’s not about enjoying or doing anything while you are single, it’s really about
savoring every moment of your journey because you know that Jesus is waking with
you. This is the time where God is molding you, building your faith and making you
more ready for His plan; devoting your life to Jesus and serving Him faithfully. Learn
to find joy in Him more than anyone else. Once you have Him by your side, you will
never walk alone, ever.

Guide question(s):
 Are you happy and contented in you being ‘single’ right now?
 How do you feel when you hea r and/or witness your other women friends
marrying? how do you deal with the sometimes excess pressure towards
married life?

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HOUSEHOLD TOPIC FOLLOW UP FOR PD – STAG E 1


TRUE BEAUTY

“Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORDis to be
praised.” Prov31:30

What it means to be a woman of beauty? We’ve seen how much the world has
redefined beauty. F rom television, movies, magazines, billboards all are picturing the
perfect beauty. If a woman wishes to be beautiful, she has to follow certain
standards. And when women look at themselves in the mirror, they can so easily find
a part of their body that is not beautiful.

Most women, in some point of their life, wished that they could change at least one
part of their physical body that is not up to the standard: the type and length of their
hair, the shape and color of their eyes, their body shape, their weight, color of the
skin, their height, they can easily spot their individual flaws.

This does not mean that women should not be beautiful from the outside and
there’s nothing wrong about physical beauty; however, the physical appearance is
just a part of what makes a woman truly beautiful. It will be useless if you are

beautiful physical but deep inside you are decaying– that is your values and your
character stink.

The Scripture says God looks beyond the visible, “But the LORD said to Samuel: Do
not judge from his appearance or f rom his lofty stature, because I have rejected him.
God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The LORD looks into the
heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Our hearts are definitely more important to God than our
physical appearance.

It doesn’t matter how people see you. What matters most is how God sees you. You
are wonderfully made by God (Ps 139:14). You are not a mistake (Jer.1:5). You are
created in his image and likeness (Gen 1:26). You are not a junk. You are His most
prized possession (Jam 1:18), His masterpiece (Eph 2:10).

Guide question(s):
 How do you see yourself? Are you happy about your physical appearance?
 Does your focus on your appearance take your eyes off the Lord?
 Are you more focused on your weight, clothes, or makeup than you are on
God?

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WAITING

“Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD! “ Psalm27:14

We are living
doorstep. in society
From instantwho loves
food, to instant.
instant What weto
beauty, desire, we pleasure,
instant want it right
we atwant
our
everything at our fingertips. Waiting and having patience is no longer the norm. We
think waiting has no material and discernable value. And it seems that in our
Christian faith, we also expect God to act instantly the moment we request or ask
something from Him.

The Scripture tells us that there are great blessings in waiting. In the book of Psalm
40:1 David says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my
cry.” God delights to who trust in His ways. But oftentimes, we believe that if we are
ready for something, God must immediately answer and grant our request. We see
God as an ATM machine where He will instantly dispense answers to our prayers.
Waiting is hard if you are longing to be married. You begin to compare yourself with
your friends who are already dating, engaged or happily married.

God is a sovereign God. He is in control. He knows what’s best for you. We may not
understand Him sometimes; we just have to trust Him. He knows you better than
you know yourself. He knows every detail of your life. He knows what your longing.
He knows how you are feeling and the worries and frustrations you may have. He
knows your future and He is preparing you for it.

God wants you to focus on Him, to fix your eyes on Him. He’ll take you from where
you are to where you are supposed to be. Wait on the Lord and trust that His perfect
time is the best. Devote your time in serving Him. Be on your best while waiting on
God’s best.

Guide question(s):
 Do you feel pressured when your friends are starting to get marry or are
already engaged or is in a special relationship?
 What do you do while waiting on the Lord?

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IN PURSUIT OF

“… but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been
taken possession of by Christ. Phil 3:12

What is the goal of your life? What do you pursue in life?


The world is offering us a topsy-turvy road to real joy and happiness. It persistently
barging in our way and offer us quick and easy way to achieve what we want.
Everyday we are being bombarded with what we should have and we ought to be.
There is a saying that goes; “we become what we pursue in life.”

As Christians we are to press on toward a prize; a prize that cannot be bought by


money nor cannot be achieve through honor. St Paul relates this to an athlete who’s
running a race. As a runner presses on to reach his goal, we, Christians, are also in a
race, a race to win the prize.

Like St Paul, we need to keep our eyes on the goal. Like a runner who keeps his eye
on the finish line, must also fix our eyes on the goal; not letting anything distract us
from achieving it. We should not waste our time from the non-essentials. Time is too
precious for that.

Satan will always try to derail us. If we succumb to his bait, we will lose precious time
and energy or worse, we will not be able to finish the race. His main intention is to
prevent us from achieving what God intended for us.

God promised that as long as we remain steadfast and faithful we will surely reach
our goal. And with great hope, we look forward to our Savior’s words, "Well done,
my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you
great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy." (Matt. 25:21). Let’s keep
pursuing God will all our heart.

Guide question(s):
 Have you pursued God with all your heart today? This week?
 What do you think about the most?
 Where is most of your time spent?

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The Relentless Suitor

“But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”
Rom.5:8

Why does God love us so much? This questions seems to very difficult to
comprehend that we are so precious in His eyes. In Jeremiah 31:3, the Lord says ,
“With age-old love I have loved you; so Ihave kept my mercy toward you.” Can you
imagine what kind of love can this be? A love that is so much greater than any other
love, Jesus tells (John 15:13) “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s
life for one’s friends.” There really no greater love than this.

It is breathtaking to know that the One who created us is on a relentless pursuit of


each of us. Throughout the Bible, we can see how God pursues His people, wanting
to establish a covenant relationship with them. Jesus said he was like a shepherd
who has lost a sheep, and left the ninety-nine just to find the one; He is like a woman
who lost her coin, who searched all over the house to find it. And it was to their joy
that the sheep and the coin were found. God is relentless in His pursuit of us.

God loves us so much that He pursues us every second of our lives. He is in a

constant pursuit of an intimate relationship with us. No amount of sin can stop Him
from loving us. No ifs, no buts. His love cannot be diminished by our mistakes,
failures and sins. Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore
with loving-kindness I have drawn you.”

In the scripture it tells how Jesus is the groom and we are His bride. He has chosen
you. He is wooing you and He wants to take care and love you like his precious bride.
Whether you’re broken, in deep pain, rejected or just committed sin, He longs to
take you in His loving arms. He will never get tired of pursuing you until you’ll come
home to where you really belong.“For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die,
we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” Rom.14:8

Guide question(s):

How do we respond to Someone (God) who loves us beyond our failures and
sins?
 Evidently, God is showing us how to love. Are we ready to love like Him?

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The Pearl of Great Price

“When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”
Matt.13:46

There is practically everything to substitute what God intended us to have but it will
always not be the real thing. In our lifetime, we will encounter hundreds of
situations that will confuse us from what is most important in life. Most of us
become so preoccupied with acquiring things which we thought are important but
later in life realize that we just wasted so much time and energy in acquiring those
things. Each of us struggles with conflicting desires that we find within ourselves. We
get so distracted that we easily exchange the best from just the second best.

The driving desire of men for earthly riches is the complete opposite of the desire of
the soul for heavenly riches. The Kingdom of God is like finding a pearl of great price
in the field and selling everything in order to have it. Jesus reminds us to discern
what is of las ting value and commit our whole lives to it. There is a hunger in us that
only God can fill. There is something we need that only God can suffice. When we
become awa re of this hunger, we realize that nothing is too great to sacrifice for this
fulfillment.

This is the reason why we need to continually remind ourselves of who we are and
whose we are. What we truly long for and to whom we only belong. We are created
by God and for God alone (“ so then, whether we ivel or die, we are the Lord’s.” Rom
14:8). And there we discover that it is Christ who is our only and real treasure. He is
the only who can quench our thirst and satisfy our need.

So, today, may we ask Jesus for the grace to keep our hearts and minds conformed
to what is important in His eyes – the things that have everlasting value. We can only
find the pearl of great price when we earnestly seek it.“When you look for me, you
will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13).

Guide question(s):

Have you found the pearl of great price? What are the things in life that
distracts you from buying it?
 What are we willing to do for Him? Can we “sell all that we have”? (e.g. give
up unhealthy relationship, vices, or a job to be able to erve
s God’s people)

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CHASTITY ROCKS

“Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the
immoral person sins against his own body.” 1 Cor.6:18

In our society today, Christians find chastity much more difficult to uphold than older
Christians. It has even become a source of ridicule for those who are practicing it,
branding them as updated. As what C.S. Lewis said, “Chastity is the most unpopular
of the Christian values.” But little did they know that chastity is the authentic love.

Chastity is a call no matter what state (single, married) you are in life. It’s more than
just abstaining from sex and remain a virgin. Chastity is the virtue that orients all of
our sexual desires towards the truth of love (Christopher West). Sexual intimacy and
sexual relations must only be between man and woman united in marriage for
procreation and love.

Chastity is a virtue that requires real courage. By choosing chastity, we choose more
happiness, not less. It means, we prioritize our Godly-purpose rather than our sexual
desire. And when we abuse our sexuality, we distort the true meaning of love. The
relationship will be jeopardized. Bitterness and hatred will soon crawl in and replace

the once happy relationship.


Chastity is a mark of a Christian. It is going beyond your sexual appetite rather than
allowing it to control you, for what you cannot say no to is your real master; the one
controlling your life. Purity and chastity are the habits that cleanse our hearts and
put our sexuality in right order. So choose purity not for others or for your
community, but because you believe that it is the path that God has called you to.

Guide question(s):
 Where do you struggle in your pursuit of chas tity?
 How are you going to deal with your sexual urges?

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FREEDOM TO LOVE

“For you were called for freedom, brothers. But do not use this freedom as an
*
opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love.” Gal.5:13

One of God’s special gifts to us is freedom. It is a very powerful gift. A gift He did not
bestow on other creatures but only to us, His most prized possession. He entrusted
this gift of liberty. Only this freedom is not for you, but is for the service of others.

God has set us free to serve others. This may sound illogic but this is the paradox of
true freedom – that is freedom to love like God. It is only in freely giving our love
that we can attain true freedom. God frees us to serve one another not to take
advantage of them. He freed us to love and serve others and through this act we find
our greatest fulfillment.

Our call as Christians is to love a life of radical love, a love that is extraordinary, a
love like Jesus. St. Paul describes this kind of love in the book of Corinthians : “Love is
patient, love is kind. It is not jealous…..It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all
things, endures all things.” This kind of love allows us to participate in the very being
of God, for God is love (1 Jn4:8). This is our calling no matter who we are, where we

are, whatever state of life we are in.

Guide question(s):
 What are the obstacles that you are facing now that hinders you from freely
loving others?
 Are you ready to give up these obstacles and leave your comfort zones to
love like Jesus?

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SEARCH IS OVER

“Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” 1Jn 4:8

Everyone wants to love and be loved. Love is a human need. But there are still so
many of us who don’t feel loved or don’t want to give love. Many go through life
looking for love in the wrong place. We hop from one place to another s earching and
hoping to find love.

As we look in our society, it reveals how much we are desperately looking for love or
at least cheap substitutes for it. Some of us even stay contented with the cheap
imitation of it – going for temporal love rather than the true essence of it. We turn
to money, sex, vices, to beautifying our outward self, to fancy cars, up to date
phones, to fame, power and honor. All these things lead to failure in our search
simply because these cannot fill the space hunger in our heart. All these things are
mere substitutes and substitutes are not the real thing. They don’t last for a long
time and sooner or later we will loose all those things.

The Good news is that we can have this kind of real love and that there is Someone
who deeply love us. God’s love is the most uplifting, life -giving and life-changing

love: “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for
us. Rom.5:8” His love for us is infinite. It never changes. It doesn’t diminish. Hislove
is perfect just as He is. There’s nothing we could ever do to make Him love us, and
there’s nothing we could ever do stop Him from loving us. He never stops. He never
takes a break.

When we grasp the reality of God’s love, we will no longer search itin material
things and other cheap imitation of it. We will rest in Him, believing that when we
have Him, we have everything: “the Lord is my shepherd, there’s nothing I lack.”
Ps.23:1

Guide question(s):
 Have you experienced God’s love today?
 Do you still search love in the wrong place?

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THE BROKEN POT

He heals the brokenhearted andbinds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

There was once a Potter who visited a shop.

The shop owner was very happy to have him there and wasted no time in showing
him his most prized pots. They were indeed beautiful. Some had unusual designs or
figures on them. “These are my best pots,” the shop owner proclaimed, proudly.

But the Potter shook his head. “They are very nice,” he said. “But this is not what I
want.”

Perplexed, the shop owner led him to another shelf. “How about one of these?” he
asked. “They are a bit chipped, but surely, they can be used for something…”

Again, the Potter shook his head. “This is not what I want.”Then, looking past the
shop owner towards the back of the shop, he asked, “What about that one?”

The shop owner followed his gaze. “Oh, no, sir…you don’t want that pot. Can’t you

see? It’s shattered. It’s useless.”

“Are all the pieces there?” the Potterasked.

The shop owner shrugged. “Well…yes.”

The Potter took a step towards the broken fragments.

“Why do you want that pot,” the shop owner asked, “When there are so many
others here?”
A smile crossed the Potter’s face. “Because the strongest pots of al l are the ones that
have first been broken,” he answered.

And that night, with great care and gentleness, the Potter carried the broken pieces
home and began his work.

Many, many weeks later, the king of all the land held a great feast for all his subjects.
Both the Potter and the shop owner were present. They greeted one another
warmly and talked for awhile.

Then, the shop owner looked at one of the pots on the kings table. “It’s a beautiful
pot,” he remarked. “But for some reason, it s eems as if I’ve s een it before.”

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“Do you remember a certain broken pot?” the Potter asked.

“Yes.” Then a look of shock passed the shop owner’s face as he looked again at the
pot, the one he had seen no use for. He gave his head a shake, seeing with new eyes.
“You don’t mean…that broken pot…?”

“Yes.” The Potter beamed. “That broken pot.”

Just like the broken pot, God can take our lives and make them into something
beautiful, if we give Him all the pieces.

Written by Julia Khoury

Guide question(s):
 Are there brokenness in us that the Lord restored into something more
beautiful lately?
 How has the Lord used our broken self to magnify His love to others?

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