C3 Frequently Asked Questions
(These guidelines reflect the general approach that C3 groups are encouraged to follow in an effort to set groups, leaders, and individuals up for the greatest spiritual growth and deepest life-on-life relationships, but each individual C3 group may have a slightly different approach.)
C3 groups meet in a number of different times and places across Molokai. The goal is to have a group available for every member at MBC to be a part of at a time and location that works for them.
C3 groups meet for two different periods during the year. We have spring and fall sessions. At the end of each session, you will have the choice of staying in the same group, trying a new group or even taking a break.
Any regular attendee of MBC can join one of our C3 groups. In general, we ask that only those who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior join because C3 is designed to facilitate relationship among those who are already believers.
Launch campaigns are run several weeks prior to the start of each semester. At those times, all of the open C3 groups will have sign-ups available for anyone who wants to join.
If you decide you want to be a part of a C3 group after the sign-ups, you can still join a group until week 3 of the semester by talking to the group leader. However, after week 3, we encourage you to wait until the next semester begins. We do this in order to pursue the good of everyone involved by protecting the intimacy and togetherness of each group. A new member who joins an established group will tend to disrupt the unity of the group. We also want to ensure you get the best possible C3 experience which mean joining a new group with new people.
In order to protect the integrity of each group and give each individual the best possible experience, our C3 groups are generally limited to 12 people or 7 couples. We believe that as the church grows larger it must grow smaller as well. Groups of 4-12 are proven to be more conducive to openness and connection. So, some groups may not accept new members because they are full or because they have a previously established membership. In which case, we encourage you to join an open group with new people.
When choosing a C3 group to join, we strongly recommend that you pick a group based on the leader or other members of the group. Groups based on a common station in life, shared interests, or established friendships tend to be much more successful than those selected out of the convenience of when or where the group meets. All of the C3 group leaders will be available for questions during the two sign-up Sundays before the start of each semester. If you weren't excited about your choice of groups one semester, we encourage you to try a different one. Sometimes the right fit takes time to find.
If you sign up for a C3 group, you are committing to attend each weekly group meeting throughout the semester and to do the homework (listen to the sermon and answer the discussion questions) prior to each meeting. Of course, allowances are made for sickness, vacation, or emergencies but not much more. This commitment is crucial to the discipleship-relationship model of C3. You will have the first three weeks to decide if the group you joined is a good fit for you.
The C3 covenant is simply a promise between each member of the group to hold each other accountable to the policies and guidelines the group agrees to hold to. These policies may include meeting time and duration, attendance, discussion guidelines, homework, and childcare. We strongly encourage each group to establish and sign a covenant because consistency and commitment are critical to the health and success of your group. A written promise helps keep everyone accountable.
If you do not want to sign a covenant, you will not be forced to. However, we do ask that you consider the covenant as a promise to your fellow group members not to the pastors or to MBC. You are committing to love them by your respect, your preparation, and your presence, and they are committing to love you in the same way. Jesus demands radical commitment to following Him, and we encourage all of our C3 groups to exercise that commitment in the way they deal with each other.
When you sign up for a group, you are committing to attend that group for at least a couple weeks. However, our covenants are generally signed on by week three so if you find that a group is not a good fit for you, you can leave or talk to the C3 staff about changing groups before week 3. No questions asked. We want you to find a group that is a good fit for you so we encourage you to try as many groups as you need to find that comfortable place.
Our C3 meetings are centered around the core components of fellowship, study, prayer, and service. Most groups spend 30 minutes fellowshipping often with refreshments or dinner. This may take the form of praise reports, prayer requests, struggles or discussing life in general. This is followed by 30 minutes of group discussion about the study questions which focus on the Sunday message. Finally, groups spend the last 30 minutes in sharing and prayer. That is the general meeting format although as groups mature and evolve, they will adapt their own flavor. We strive to keep our C3 meetings within the time frame of 90 minutes.
Our C3 group studies are sermon based, meaning the homework and discussion questions are based on the pastoral teaching on Sunday morning. Since the sermon is 80% of the preparation, it is very important that each person sees the sermon, whether in person or online. C3 is sermon based because it allows the Bible teaching to come from the pastor while each group can focus on relational disciple-making through group discussion about the sermon. That also means that all of MBC is growing in common truth as every group explores the same core topics.
In general, C3 is designed for adults only. Each family is responsible for their own childcare. Of course families and leaders are encouraged to work together in this. Except in the case of infants, we encourage C3 groups to have no children (or pets) during the group meetings especially study and sharing/prayer times. We do this in order to limit distractions for both group members and for the parents, and to facilitate an open environment for deep discussions and accountability. We want the focus during those 90 minutes to be fully on hearing from God and on engaging with one another.