We've previously thought about 3 key factors which help us grow as Christians—and these are: Worship, Community and Mission. One of the reasons I focused on what I did on my sabbatical last summer was that I know its not easy to be a follower of Jesus today. There are all sorts of distractions which take our attention away. Let me make 2 suggestions of things which can help us be more focused on Jesus, both things which can do as Christians even in the midst of our busy lives.
1. Rhythm/way of life This is an idea which goes back to beginning of time and it’s something practiced by Monks and nuns in monasteries and convents for so many centuries. They live by a rule or way of life—a rhythm of work, prayer and rest.. There’s a new movement growing up in the church to help us apply these principles in the midst of life out there in the world. One of the features of this is a simple form of prayer which can be used once, twice or even 3 times daily—so finding a few moments space in our busy day wherever we are - to pray a prayer, just as others in the church community are doing so.
You can find our Way of Daily Prayer on this website, or use one of many available online
2. The second thing is being part of a Small group Being in community is one of the essential things which helps us grow as followers of Jesus—developing supportive relationships with other Christians in small groups can make a huge difference. For many years Christians have found that Home Groups have helped them grow in faith and get to know others much better. These often met weekly or fortnightly at a regular time. However, people’s lives have changed a great deal over the last 10 or 20 years and people find it very difficult to commit to a regular group which meets at a set time. Finding a space in 8 or 10 people’s diaries is often impossible. While Home Groups will continue for those who benefit from them, we feel something new is needed: Bubble Groups A Bubble Group is a much smaller group of people, of 3 or 4 who agree to meet on a reasonably regular basis (many meet monthly) but at a time and place which is convenient to them. They may be made up of 2 couples, 2 families or of individuals who think they could find time to be together. So How are groups formed? if you live in the same area as others who are interested you could arrange to meet in person, if you live further apart, the COVID pandemic has shown how we can form small online communities (such as via Zoom)
get in touch via the 'Contact us' tab on this website and we'll help you join a group
We will produce resources to be used in the Life Groups with a degree of flexibility built in.
Convenience is the key word here. You may choose to meet over a meal, over a coffee or over a drink in the pub, online; wherever works for you!
A group will only work effectively if it meets at least once per month, but can meet more regularly if the group members want to. Every single church I visited during my sabbatical, where people were growing as Christians and as a result where they were growing in numbers had some sort of small group network—so we’ll be working hard to make this work.. Give this some thought and prayer - what patterns might help you to keep your eyes on Jesus?