Well, it's not so much the focus that will be different, but the format. Every group we've ever attended, including one that we hosted for three years in Maine, was focused on group discussion. We would meet and study. . . some would call it a Bible Study. We also had a focus on building community between members, so it had a major social component as well.
Some time ago, I began to think a little bit differently about church. You can read some background here in a post called "Getting out of church!" Basically, I began to feel like I was just talking and not doing anything about all the stuff I was talking about. I was feeling like my week was so full of church events that I didn't have time for anyone outside of my church. I didn't know how to justify or reconcile my schedule with what I was reading in the Bible.
Then I read some stuff: Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller, Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus, and Love Does by Bob Goff. All of these books increased my sense that something about my priorities had gone awry.
So, as suggested by Bob Goff in Love Does, we're starting a Bible Doing. We're getting folk together with the intention of serving our community on a regular basis. These opportunities to serve will take the place of some of our discussions. Our discussions will then be focused on new opportunities and the experiences we have serving.
We're going to start by looking for some 'plug and play' service opportunities where we don't have to re-invent the wheel, but rather plug into organizations that are already going. We're going to focus on the passions and talents of the group members. We're going to turn everyday life into a mission trip!
We're not pros yet, but practice makes perfect!
"'He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?' declares the Lord." Jeremiah 22:10 NIV