Last weekend, whilst on holiday, we popped over to Belmont Chapel, in Exeter, where I did a gap year in 2004-2005. It’s always interesting to go back to a church where you’ve worked, to hear how they’re going and spend time with old friends.
This morning was their Vision Sunday, the main focus was on Life Groups – in summary triplets and quartets of people getting together regularly to share and pray, with the intention of “spurring one another on” in our walks with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Belmont has been reviewing its vision, based around the strap line of “Sharing the Story, Living the Life”. The main conclusion from their Leadership Team was that whilst there are always improvements to be made to the programme of services and activities there wasn’t a need for a major overhaul, instead, there was a need to focus on relationships.
The best evangelism and pastoral care happens through intentional relationships so the Leadership Team wanted to focus on developing relationships in an even more personal way than home groups allow. One of the themes of these groups will be an increase in prayerful encounragement and accountability with peers.
This sounds very exciting, to hear a church encouraging its congregation to go deeper together is always powerful, and it challenges me on how we do more of this in Tonbridge. We recently formalized a mentoring scheme for our young people to access one-on-one discipleship, but we could do more to encourage peer triplets and quartets to meet together.
My only question against all of this is will busy people sign-up to meet regularly (defined as at least once a month, ideally fortnightly) with others when they’re already committed to church services, a home group and serving in the local church.