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Posts Tagged ‘small groups’

On our Pathfinder Venture this summer we’ll be studying the bible in small groups with the young people. Our leader, Tim Ambrose, has made this great video with some very funny tips on leading a study:

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Recently we have started a new way of praying in our Junior Church. I was fresh back from Bible By the Beach, and the fantastic youth and children’s work that went on there. And from there we have snaffled an idea which helps our youngsters to think of something to pray for, and that encourages them to pray for a variety of things. Our secret: sweeties!

Every week the leader goes armed with a packet of Skittles (M&Ms or Smarties would work too). They go in a bowl and at our prayer time each child takes a sweetie. Then they say a prayer triggered by the colour of the sweet. Depending on the colour selection, you can make up your own code. Ours is as follows:

  • Red – a sorry prayer
  • Purple – prayer for the sick
  • Green – prayer for the world
  • Orange – a thank you prayer
  • Yellow – prayer for the church
  • Blue (when we have the special packet) – anything you like!

This would work for any small group – even grown ups who want a different way to pray. And good for families too – our kids love it!

 

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I’m off again today on the Proclamation Trust’s wonderful Minister’s Wives’ Conference. I’m looking forward to being refreshed by teaching from Lizzie Smallwood and Vaughan Roberts, chatting to friends from dawn until dusk and being encouraged by hearing what God is doing in many different places.

It’s hard to believe that it’s a year since I was last at Hothorpe Hall. We have been living in our Vicarage for two years now. We moved in during February half term and the Vicar was inducted on 10th March.

There seems to be a pattern in moving to a new parish: a while ago I blogged about the ‘I hate foreign’ part that happens early on. But a lot of clergy say that the second and third years can be tough – when you start changing things more and your weaknesses become more exposed.  It’s when you begin to really know your congregation and your parish and they you. I think we’ve found that true – last summer felt like quite hard going. But now we are very encouraged by signs of growth.

And only yesterday the Vicar launched a big new initiative: we are aiming to increase the number of small groups. We’ve even had fabulous banners printed up. Designed by a Vicar’s wife, natch.

Does your church have small groups? How are they getting on? Any wisdom could come in very handy…

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Last week I blogged enthusiastically about John Chapman’s book ‘A Foot in Two Worlds’ and mentioned how I’d be discussing it that evening with a new group. But as is the way of things, two out of the three group members couldn’t make it, so we cancelled. So we’ll be trying again tonight , and I’ve managed to recruit one more member and although one person still can’t make it, I’m hoping that we’ll at least have a go. There should be four of us. I’ll report again afterwards.

The Vicar is keen to start more small groups in the church, as even in a small church like ours it is hard to get to know people well. Our community is tightknit and some people have known each other for many years, some even from school days. So when newcomers join us, it can be very difficult for them to get close to the church family. Small groups are a great place for that to happen, and for young believers to be nurtured and discipled. I’m praying that this group proves to be a productive engine room of growth.

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