We believe that EVERYONE is designed for deep connection. Jesus himself models a life of deep friendship in his “small group” of 12 disciples, but he also prioritizes routine investment in an even more intimate circle of friends (Peter, James & John). Tripods at the Vineyard will ideally be gender-specific (not co-ed), 3-4 people total, and meet for one hour each week, often for a mutually agreed-upon season to start. They offer a space to be known deeply and know others deeply, and in the process, experience real life change.
Tripods are not meant to replace getting involved in a life group, but can serve their own unique purpose and facilitate formation and connection, especially as many life groups go on break over the summer months.
Formation: We all want to become more like Jesus in our thoughts, actions and desires. The people we surround ourselves with have more to do with our formation than any other factor. Sharing life vulnerably with supportive Jesus-followers is the best way to grow.
Friendship: Relationship is the currency of the Kingdom and the key to human flourishing. We all have friends that we wish we could spend more time with and a tripod can help you be intentional and vulnerable.
Flexibility: You can meet at a coffeeshop, in a restaurant, at the church, online or on the phone. Some tripods set up a text thread to keep in touch throughout the week with life updates & prayer requests. And you can talk about pretty much anything you want!
Feasibility: While tripods still need leadership (ie. someone to set the time, place, etc), everything is simpler. Anybody can start a tripod and there’s no special training! There’s no house to clean, fewer people dynamics to manage and less time commitment than a Life Group.
WHAT DOES A TRIPOD DO?
While there is no rigid structure for your time, a tripod should always prioritize sharing about life and applying some spiritual truth to life rather than intellectual conversation about theology, morality, ideas, politics (football, etc). Make sure everyone gets a chance to share. Additionally, you can introduce content (ie. a bible, book or Right Now Media study), but this should never overtake the relational priority in time or emphasis. End by offering prayer to each other.
Example 1: 10 min of small talk, 40 min of check-in, 10 min for prayer and goodbyes
Example 2: 10 min of small talk, 15 min of content, 25 min of check-in, 10 min prayer and goodbyes
10 Questions you can ask over and over again!
Iceberg question (to get more in touch with our hearts): This past week what made you mad? What made you sad? What made you anxious? What made you glad?
In one word or phrase, “how’s your soul?” Then spend a few minutes explaining what you mean.
What is God inviting you into now?
How is your marriage/closest relationship(s)?
What has brought you joy this past week?
How would you like to change/grow?
Is there anything you’d like us to follow up with next week (a goal, accountability, etc)?
How are you connecting with God in this season? How has it been?
How are you experiencing ME lately (in both positive and negative ways)?
What vision do you have for your life/character? How does it compare to your current reality?
If you are interested in being part of a tripod, we encourage you to think of a few people you know, ask them and see if you all might form a tripod together for a season. If you are newer to the Vineyard or are unsure who to reach out to, please contact us at church[at]csvineyard.org and we'll be glad to help.