Growth groups continue to remain the same in purpose because God’s big plan for this world hasn’t changed: Rescue lost people, grow rescued people.
And so our growth groups continue to be small groups of members at St Michael’s who seek to grow by prayerfully reading and applying God’s Word and investing in the lives of other group members.
And even though we want people to attend growth group regularly, have fun and learn, ultimately, we want to see growth in fruitful Christian living. Just like what Paul prays in his letter to the Colossians,
“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)
Knowledge and attendance aren’t the goal but the purpose of our growth groups is a fruit bearing life that pleases the Lord. That purpose remains the same.
But there are a number of things that will look different this year.
- Our growth groups will seek to bear fruit together by creatively working to bless those beyond their group. Not only will this be an opportunity to bless the wider community, but it will provide opportunities to help connect Christians to unbelievers.
- In lieu of ‘Prayer Summits’, our growth groups in terms 2 to 4 will dedicate a week to prayer. This change enables more members of St Michael’s to exercise prayerful dependence on God in everything and it will hopefully help those who found the prayer summit format too intimidating.
- Growth groups will be working off the same planned programme. This will hopefully lessen the amount of time needed for leaders to prepare and with that time it can be used to pray more and pastorally follow up members. Having the same programme across our congregations will not only express unity but will hopefully allow members to share their challenges and encouragements with others outside their group.
- Training leaders will change from leader development mornings to leader cluster groups. These groups will consist of 4-5 growth group leaders who will be trained, encouraged, and supported by a designated leader and more importantly by one another. These clusters will draw on the experience and collective wisdom of growth group leaders.
Under God we hope that these changes will make a difference in seeing members of St Michael’s live fruitful lives for God’s glory. If you aren’t in a group why not consider joining one. You can fill out this form, speak to a leader or a member of a growth group or one of the pastoral staff.\
Liam Shannon | Senior Assistant Minister