31 January 2019

To answer the question: ‘Why join a Growth Group?’, we ought to ask what is God’s big plan for the world and for us.

God’s big plan for this world is for people to be rescued, and for rescued people to grow. This was the case for God’s people at Colossae; when they trusted the good news about Jesus they were rescued from the dominion of darkness and transferred into Jesus’ Kingdom (Col. 1:13-14). And since they had been transplanted into the kingdom of light, Paul and Timothy didn’t expect them to stay the same but instead prayed,

“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9–10 NIV11)

And so, as God’s people, we are to grow in our knowledge and love of God, and that’s why we have Growth Groups! Growth Groups at St Michael’s are small groups of members at St Michael’s who seek to grow by meeting together in order to hear from God, praying together, doing life together and caring for one another. All of these are important components to help us grow in our trust of Jesus and our desire to live for him.

No two groups are the same. Some of our groups are made up of men and others are made up of women, but lots are mixed. We have groups with people of the same age but we also have groups where different generations and cultures meet. Some groups meet at someone’s house or at church. These groups run for a year at a time and sometimes continue the following year (but can also change depending on different opportunities as well as leaders).

One advantage of joining a Growth Group is that it gives you an opportunity to dig deeper into God’s word. There are also opportunities to ask questions, clarify our understanding and work out together how to apply the Bible’s truth to each other’s lives. There are great opportunities to share more personal prayer points and to pray meaningfully for others as well as to pray for our church and God’s mission in His world. When we belong to a Growth Group it means that we can be supported in the difficult times, but also celebrate and mourn with one another through life’s ups and downs. Growth Groups strengthen and remind us to look outward to our broken and needy world.

But the best reason to join a growth group is summed up in God’s word:

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24–25 NIV11)

If you’re interested in joining one why not fill out a Connection Card at church this Sunday, or speak to one of our pastoral staff.

Liam Shannon
Assistant Minister