You made it to church and even came along to the pub after, so what’s next? At Christ City Church, there is a clear missional ambition to build communities and bring the Kingdom of God to those around us. A City group may comprise anywhere from 4-10 people with the aim of meeting during the week, to live out the missional values of leadership, discipleship, community and mission.
At Christ City Church we call them City groups, they’re similar to ‘small groups’ or ‘cell groups’ that are common in lots of churches but the idea is that the focus of the group is outward and not just for internal community building and personal growth. So each group has a ‘city’ focus – maybe it’s a geographic focus, maybe it’s a people group connection in the city or maybe it’s a shared passion. Bottom line is they are not just internal bible studies, though they’re not less than that.
When I joined Christ City Church, I wanted to get to know people more and feel connected and so we started a City group. The main feeling I distinctively remember was a one of acceptance. Joining with people of similar ideas, who wanted to show the love of Jesus and build friendships. I guess looking back, it felt like a safe place, a place where we could pray for each other, laugh together, encourage each other and learn more about Jesus and his life.
I remember walking through the door of Steve and Leanne’s house, kids playing and what looked like general chaos happening. Straight away I was encouraged to join in and I soon had kids jumping over me while I lay down on the floor. A cup of tea and some fabulous home-made banana cake followed and we were all soon chatting about what has brought us to Dublin.
Over the weeks and months, the group become larger and we have enjoyed a variety of activities. It started with studies from Tim Keller on Gospel in Life and Francis Chan on Crazy Love. Both series had a short video followed by discussion questions on various topics, it usually included me eulogising Tim Keller several times an evening.
We also have the opportunity once a month to join with the other City groups for our Prayer and Worship evening. It is encouraging to join together as a larger group and to pray for church, the city and beyond.
Joining a City group, has helped me a lot, finding new friends, being accepted and learning together. This is all great but at Christ City Church, our mission is to go further and through joining together and being blessed by the Holy Spirit, we feel empowered to take the love of Jesus to others. We have had the opportunity to join in community projects and to invite our friends and family along to socials. This has included going to the Pub, eating out and joining a comedy night.
So if you haven’t been to a city group or feel apprehensive, I would encourage you to give them a try. There are a number of city groups all around the city and I promise it will be a great place to encourage others and be encouraged yourself.
If you’re still not sure or feel apprehensive then I suggest you go to the next Connect Night. Connect Night was the perfect way to understand what the values and vision are in the church. The first of these is clearly eating pizza, something that is done really well at Christ City Church. That was enough to entice me along and next up I learnt about what they are trying to achieve in the Church. It was also nice to know I wasn’t the only new person and in fact meet several new people who also wanted to find out more and find City Groups.
(By Greg Sykes*)
*This is part of a short series of blog posts written by James Bass and Greg Sykes who have joined the church in the last year. We hope they help you think about how you connect to Christ City Church and form good friends.