Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions about connecting in community with Cultivate. Browse the sections below to learn about group basics, group logistics, group leadership resources, content for your group and essentials for cultivating community:
Q: When do Cultivate groups start?
A: Our groups officially launch on Tuesday, March 5th. However, the beauty of our format for 2019 is that we aren’t limited by schedules, space or seasons. Any woman can join or start a group whenever they’re ready. Also, groups can meet all year long or design a schedule that works best for them! Visit our Community page to learn more.
Q: How do I join a group?
A: Just visit our Group Finder and search by location and/or day of the week you’d like to attend group. If you don’t find the exact group you’re looking for, consider broadening your search to other areas – or even starting a group of your own!
Q: How do I start a group?
A: It’s easy – just complete a Start A Group form. You can choose the day, time and location as well as decide if you’ll welcome kids and be an open group for other women to join.
Q: How many women do I need to start a group?
A: You and a few friends is a group! From there, you can choose how large you grow. If you decide you’ve reached max capacity, just complete our Group Update form and we’ll close your group.
Q: What if a friend wants to join my existing community group?
A: Just talk to your leader. We highly encourage groups to welcome new women and an invitation to a friend seeking community is exceptionally kind. If you have a lot of friends or your group is getting big, you might consider starting a group of your own. We’ve seen one group grow into 3 or 4, which means you’re cultivating community like a pro!
Q: I lead a women’s community group. How do I become a women’s Cultivate group?
A: Great news! All Sandals Church women’s groups are now considered Cultivate groups. You don’t need to do anything. In addition to receiving ongoing training and support from the Sandals Church Discipleship Team, you’ll be assigned an Area Leader who is a member of the Cultivate Leadership Team. They’ll be in contact and are happy to serve you, as you serve the women of Sandals Church.
Q: Should I leave my current community group to join a women’s Cultivate group?
A: Not necessarily. If you have the capacity to be in two groups, go for it! Women’s groups will have a different feel and allow you the freedom to discuss issues and topics that you might not in mixed company. If you’ve been in your current group for some time, you might consider recreating the spiritual growth you’ve experienced and providing a safe place for more women to grow spiritually wise, by leading a women’s group of your own.
Q: Why should I be in a community group?
A: We truly believe that spiritual growth best happens in the context of community. While you could miss church for a few weekends and we wouldn’t know, your community group will miss you…and come looking for you! Not only is community a place for you to work out our vision of being real with self, God and others – but your group is where you are seen and known.
Q: I’ve been a part of Cultivate for years and I’m not crazy about these new changes?
A: We appreciate you and your commitment to Cultivate and we get it, change is hard. However, as a longstanding member of our community, we challenge you to consider what you have to offer other women. You’ve seen the power of community at work in your life and now you have a chance to invite other women to experience both kindness and connection. Maybe this is your opportunity to offer others those benefits, rather than simply receive them. We invite you to partner with us in making Cultivate accessible to every woman.
Q: How often does my group need to meet?
A: Typically community groups meet weekly, but you can meet every other week if that works best for your schedule. We do encourage consistency and commitment so that your group connects and grows together.
Q: I want to lead a group, but my house isn’t fancy and I don’t have a lot of space?
A: Community isn’t a place; it’s people. Whether you gather around a coffee table or in a great room, your #1 goal is to create an environment where women feel safe, are treated with kindness and can be real. Use what you have! Tidy up, provide water and light snacks, arrange seating for everyone…and a clean bathroom is always a nice touch.
Q: Do I have to host a group in my home?
A: No. You’re welcome to gather at a favorite restaurant, coffee shop, park or even ask group members to share hosting with you. If you do choose to vary locations, be sure to clearly communicate to all group members and take the lead on the details – like arriving early to save a table and grab enough chairs.
Q: When I host a group, am I responsible for doing everything?
A: Not at all. In fact, a key component of a healthy group is to share the ministry needs. Ask others to help lead by opening/closing in prayer, facilitating discussion questions or providing snacks. As you get to know the women in your group, you’ll identify their passions and skills and you can give them the opportunity to exercise those. Sharing the responsibilities will make group more enjoyable for everyone!
Q: I want to attend a community group, but I need childcare.
A: Many community group leaders welcome kids. When you search for a group, look for “children welcome.” Childcare options may include taking turns watching the kids, sharing costs to hire a sitter, or inviting in a trusted teenager, college student, husband/dad or grandparent to help out. Some groups even choose to meet at a park so the kids can play, while you enjoy community. Additionally, if you have a desire to create a space for other women with kids, consider starting your own group.
Q: How can I invite new women to join my community group?
A: If you’re starting a group, just indicate on the form that you want your group listed on our website. The easiest way for you to determine if other women can find your group is to search our Group Finder. If you aren’t currently listed on the website, just use our Group Update form to request we add you.
Q: I lead a group, but need to change the day, time or update our group roster?
A. No problem. Just use our Group Update form to make any edits or adjustments to your group.
Q: My former Cultivate table leader isn’t leading a group anymore. What do I do?
A: You can search our Group Finder for another group that meets your needs. You could also connect with some of the women from your former table and start a group of your own.
Q: I liked meeting with women at my home campus. Why are you changing Cultivate?
A: As Sandals Church continues to grow, we are serving an increasing amount of women. In addition, Pastor Matt’s heart for our church is that we’re working out what we’re learning on the weekend by connecting in community. To support both growth and vision, we want Cultivate to continue to be a safe place to be real, while making it accessible to as many women as possible and removing boundaries due to cost, schedules and even campus space. We believe our 2019 vision will accomplish that. With that said, you can still connect with women who attend your home campus by either searching for a group in your area or even better, starting your own!
Group Leadership Resources:
Q: I saw the Cultivate ROGO box! How do I get one?
A: If you’re an existing women’s community group leader or if you complete a new Start a Group form, you’re eligible for our ROGO box. It’s packed full of valuable information and fun resources to support you as you lead your group. Boxes will be available beginning March 15, at our Cultivate L!VE gathering and at your campus thereafter.
Q: I’m thinking about starting a group of my own, but I’m not sure I’m ready to lead.
A: It’s perfectly normal to feel that way. The first step is simply a willingness to create a safe place for women to be real. You’re not expected to prepare a sermon or bible study, but facilitate honest conversation about what women are learning on the weekend and support them as they cultivate God’s word into their lives. God is with you and we’ll provide you tools, resources and support.
Q: Do you have any resources to help me learn more about leading a group?
A: Yes! In addition to the tools and strategies included in your Cultivate ROGO box, we encourage all Cultivate group leaders to go to the Sandals Church Learning Center and visit the Group Leader Training. Start with the “Introduction” and “Before your first group” training videos to help equip you for leading your group.
Q: I’ve completed the Start A Group form. What now?
A: First, thank you for creating a safe place for women to be real! Be sure to pick up a Cultivate ROGO box – it’s full of tools and support including 8 Rules Every Cultivate Leader Needs to Know. Your next step is to invite women to join you. If your group is listed on our website, you’ll receive a text or email when women want to join your group. Welcome them and provide them your group/meeting details. Then, prepare to facilitate a conversation by praying, listening to the weekend message, reading the Cultivate Discussion Guide and being willing to model kindness.
Q: If I have a question, concern or need support leading my group, who do I ask?
A: You are assigned an Area Leader who is also the Cultivate Campus Coordinator for your campus. She’ll be in contact and is happy to answer questions, provide direction or help you navigate any questions and concerns.
Q: Will you provide questions and content for our groups to discuss?
A: Yes! Beginning March 5 and every Tuesday at 6:00pm PST you’ll have access to our Cultivate Discussion Guide with questions from the weekend message adapted especially to encourage real conversation and empower women to live out their faith. Under the direction of your leader, you’re free to discuss and expand on message topics, scripture or real life issues that are meaningful to you – all while connecting in a community of kindness.
Q: I’m in a mixed community group now. How is a women’s Cultivate group different?
A: The purpose of all Sandals Church community groups is to work out our vision of being real by discussing what we’re learning on the weekends. We recognize that women have unique needs and we want to create space for you to engage in real conversation, as well as encourage one another to cultivate God’s word into your life, relationships and circumstances. Our Cultivate Discussion Guide will help you address specific topics, scripture and ideas that will be impactful for women. In addition, leaders have the freedom to tailor the conversation to what matters most to the group, which can make it quite different than a mixed group.
Q: My group is looking for more content. What’s available?
A. Visit our Cultivate Channel on SandalsChurch.tv for previous studies including 1 John, Ruth, The Emotionally Healthy Woman and Without Rival. In addition, you can access an incredible library of previous Sandals Church sermon series from Pastor Matt Brown, which is a fantastic way to cultivate God’s word.
How to Connect in Community:
Q: What if my group only gets through 1-2 questions each week?
A: Your time together is not about getting through the content, it’s about the content getting through you. If you only answer 1 question because there was a spiritual breakthrough, a woman needed encouragement or your group really had rich conversation, that’s a success! Let the Spirit of God move, celebrate your wins and above all else…BE KIND!
Q: Does being a safe place mean we can talk about anything?
A: Healthy boundaries are vital to a healthy group. You are a safe place, but you also need to set ground rules so that you create a culture of inclusivity where everyone is committed to kindness and confidentiality. Your time together is REAL, so model healthy transparency and be a good heart handler. This means quickly discouraging unhealthy patterns of gossip or unkindness toward others.
Q: What are some other ways I can build community with my group?
A: Attend our Cultivate L!VE events! Check our 2019 calendar for dates. These free events are the perfect way to connect as a group outside of your normal meeting times. Enjoy food, worship and a message designed to help you and your group live out the truth of God’s word. Childcare is also available for a small fee with pre-registration. In addition, we always encourage you to think of creative way to practice kindness in real life. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for Kindness Challenges throughout the year – or get out there and be kind in your local community! Tag @cultivatewomen on social media and use #kindnessIRL so we can give you a shoutout!
Q: How can I serve with Cultivate?
A: Join our Cultivate Squad! While most of our opportunities to serve happen at events, as a member of our squad, we encourage you to be an ambassador for kindness at your campus. Our heart is that every woman that walks on a Sandals Church campus feel welcome and invited. Watch for women who need that word of kindness you can offer and share how they can get connected with our community. You can also connect with you campus Cultivate Coordinator about opportunities to serve.
Q: I serve on the Cultivate Squad. How can I be involved this year?
A: Thank you for serving on our team! Since you are a seasoned ambassador of kindness and have experienced the power of our community, the #1 way you can serve our women is by starting a group. We’ll also need your support at our Cultivate L!VE events, as well as our campus PopUps. Connect with your campus Cultivate Coordinator about ways you can serve your campus community. In addition, we’d encourage you to join a team at Sandals Church. You can share our vision of exceptional kindness any where you serve!
Q: Where do I find The Cultivate Podcast?
A: Just visit our Podcast page or search for The Cultivate Podcast on iTunes, the Apple Podcast app or the Google Play Store.
Thank YOU for partnering with us to make Cultivate a place for every woman. We look forward to the year ahead, as together we connect in community and commit to the vision of being real with self, God and others. If you didn’t find the answer to your questions here, kindly email us at email@example.com.
“Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love (kindness). This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.” Hebrews 10:24-25 TPT