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Simple Groups

Background

The following was written by Chris Clayton, who has now left the church to be ordained. But it is still valid and Simple Groups are still active!

"Over the last couple of years I have had a feeling that God wanted me to move forward the current home groups at St Augustine’s.

I have been reading and talking with lots of people about the different kinds of Home Groups, Cell Groups, Mini Church and other groups that churches across the country are running. Each one of these groups have their own rules / dynamics, how to manage the group, when to multiply and grow etc.

It got me wondering, did the early church have group dynamics?

Did they understand all the various teaching methods?

To be honest I don’t know (I wasn’t there) but I doubt it, the early church met together, with one thing in mind:

Jesus at the heart of the group.

So why not strip away all the learning methods, group dynacmics, this rule, that rule and simplyfy.....

 

So what are Simple Groups?

Put simply it’s a group of Christians that gather together to support each other, learn together and have Jesus at the heart of the meetings, without the over complicated guidelines.

 

So what’s different about Simple Groups?

Firstly I want to say this is not a massive revolution in Home Groups. But I do want to say that the big difference is it’s ‘SIMPLE’.

If you or your group enjoy video led studies then do them, but if you enjoy more scripture based studies then that’s absolutely fine. Each group is different and you will know the way your group likes to learn more about God. If you have one person who likes to lead or each of you take it in turn that’s fine as well.

 

Support for Simple Group?

  • Groups Support

You have support; someone is always available to offer a helping hand. If you need any kind of help, from types of studies, themes, help in leading the group, Help is here. Just contact me via the St Augustine’s website or just grab me at church.

  • Studies – Resources

You can check out our current stock of Study guides using the Resource section. You will be able to see the write up about each study and if they are available to be used in your group.

Also if you have any questions or would like something that’s not on the list please contact Chris Clayton and we will try to accommodate your request.

  • Church-wide Studies

From time to time the church might want to concentrate on a specific theme or the Diocesan may want us to follow a course or studies. When this happens all material will be provided by myself and distributed to all the groups.

 

How to run a Simple Group?

Like most things in the world we do need some structure but with Simple Groups these are stripped back to the bare bones, to make it easier to manage.

  • Some simple guidelines:
  • Group’s size could be anything between 4 – 9 people. (If you are getting more then you should look at doubling in to 2 groups and growing again.)
  • Groups should try and meet in someone’s home.
  • Decide as a group how long you want the sessions to last and stick to that.

  • How a Session should run:
  • Tea / Coffee and a quick chat as people arrive.
  • Start with an opening prayer.
  • Study (However you want to do that)
  • Talks about things you want prayers for. (Our group finds it helpful to write them down in a book and see their progress)
  • Pray

The points above are only guidelines; the idea is to come together with Jesus at the heart of the study. How to do that is down to you and your group.

 

The Benefits of Simple Groups?

Before we can talk about the benefits we need to understand what we’re missing.

Let’s take a normal Sunday Service. The Sunday service is designed for us as a church to come together and worship Christ. We have prayers and a sermon, maybe communion, but the service is designed for the whole congregation not your particular needs right then. The prayers are usually about the world or the local community or certain people in church, but not always what might be worrying you right then. You don’t always get a chance to talk about the sermon with the vicar, asking about the finer points or something you didn’t understand. After the service you try and see as many people as you can but never get chance to really talk and open up.

Knowing this we can see the benefits of Simple Groups

  • You are able to grow close friendships with the people in your group
  • You can explore a passage from the bible and together gain a deeper understanding
  • You can pray together about all the things that are worrying you
  • Each group is as different as the people that belong to it and with no strict rules Simple Groups accommodates this

In my personal experience it’s in my group that I’m able to open up about my worries, share my joys and have real conversations about the scriptures. It’s in Simple Groups that we can grow and understand Christ better.

 

So How Can I Get Involved with Simple Groups?

If you want to join a group or just want to ask some questions about Simple Groups then please fill in the form on the 'Joining Simple Groups' tab on the left or just click on the link below.

Click Here To Register

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you soon.

Regards

Chris Clayton (thanks Chris! Chris has now left this church to be ordained and we wish him the best of luck in his new career)