A NEW APPROACH TO MIDWEEK GROUPS
We passionately believe that we all need to be plugged in to some form of midweek group beyond our weekly Sunday gatherings for the sake of our spiritual formation, to be rooted in an authentic community committed to practising the way of Jesus together and in order to live a life on mission as we each find ways to join with God in the renewal of all things.
Given this we have recently decided to evolve our approach to intentional midweek groups. In addition to our life groups we are now also running termly, time-limited groups. These groups will run just for up to the length of the autumn, spring or summer terms (around which life at All Saints is organised).
The beauty of this hybrid approach is that we continue to offer the option of committing to a life group over the long term for those for whom this really works, but can now also offer a range of other options so that there is something for everyone.
Other churches that have adopted this approach have all found that three things happen:
Increased participation in intentional midweek groups - from 30% to up to 90%
More people using their gifts, experience and passions to help people grow in their discipleship
Opportunities are created for us to connect with our friends and wider community
To help spark imagination and make it easy for people to find the right group for them we categorise each of these time-limited groups into one of four options:
courses - e.g. the Anxiety course
activities - e.g. a group that meets for a river walk and drink and pray at the end
discipleship - e.g. a group that deep dives into a book of the Bible over 8-10 weeks
community - e.g. a group of mums with pre-schoolers who meet to encourage one another
HOW “GROUPS” WORK
There is a five-stage process that we go through each term:
Propose - this is where people get to propose a possible group
Approve - we then help prospective leaders think their proposed group through and do necessary safer recruitment
Join - once the final list of groups for the forthcoming term is finalised we open up registration online (or via office/church on Sunday). Registration for the summer term is now open!
Prayer and preparation - group leaders join with our life group leaders for a termly evening of prayer and training. We also encourage all leaders to come to the first Hungry:Central prayer evening the week before groups start
Run - all the groups kick off during the same week of a term
For more details, do read this PDF which explains the rationale and thinking further.
DATES FOR SUMMER TERM
Registration opens - Monday 22nd April Group leader training - Wednesday 1st May Hungry:Central - Wednesday 8th May Groups start - w/c 13th May
HOW TO PROPOSE A GROUP
If you’d like to propose a group for next term please complete the online group proposal form and then we will get in touch with you!
Bear in mind that this is all needs to work according to our safeguarding procedures so there will be some boxes to tick and a little face-to-face chat following your submission. Also please bear in mind that we may have to say 'no', or 'maybe later' as we discern what is for the current season of church life.
For any more information or to ask questions please speak to Fraser Oates on a Sunday or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org.