As a church grows bigger it must grow smaller! In other words as the number of people in a church increases, the number of smaller contexts for people to connect must increase too, otherwise a church can feel like a place you attend once a week where you sit next to strangers. A church is supposed be about friendship and family, a place to belong and be known. In Christ City Church our smaller gatherings are called City Groups.
When we read about the very first church in Acts 2:46 we learn:
46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts
Notice they have two contexts for gathering, one larger and one smaller. And these two gatherings offer very different and complimentary aspects for being the church. Sociologists/Anthropologists will tell you that we need different numerical group sizes within which to belong, and that we give and receive different things depending on the size of the group. Whilst this is might be an over-simplification we can think of it this way:
- The larger gathering – This gives a greater sense of ‘transcendence’ – of connecting to God through teaching and corporate worship. It’s more formal, designated leaders are more prominent and the whole occasion requires more organisation and structure. It’s less about relationships with one another (horizontal) and more about our relationship with God (vertical).
- The smaller gathering – this gives a greater sense of ‘intimacy’ – of connecting to one another through food, discussion, bible study, prayer, laughter and games. It’s less about the transcendent experience of God and more about our relationships with one another. Designated leaders are less prominent as everyone is involved.
All this is helpful for us to think through as we grow numerically as a church to ensure that we have enough City Groups for people to connect to and for those deeper friendships to form. Without the deeper friendships church can feel like a lonely place…and we don’t want that!
With that in mind we want to multiply some of our existing City Groups over the coming years, as well as start new groups. We have also produced a City Group Manual so that those who are starting new groups have something to work from in addition to the resources online. To help with all of this we’re going to run a City Group Leaders Training and here are all the details.
- All existing City Group Leaders & Core Team
- Anyone interested in starting a City Group
- Anyone interested in being a core-team of an existing or new City Group
- Everyone is welcome… do come along!
- Sunday 4th November
- After the service (6.00-7.30pm)
- An interactive seminar
- Overview of the vision and values of City Groups
- Practical training on how to make a City Group Work
- A chance to share and learn from one another
- To grow and train established City Group leaders and core team
- To train new leaders so we can multiply and grow the number of City Groups
- To write a City Group Manual that can be used in future, with a particular focus helping us ensure that our City Groups are missional communities*
- The Oratory, Synge Street Secondary School
Any questions just talk to Dustyn. Or just come along…there are no strings attached if you turn up just to learn more about City Groups!
*At Christ City Church we want ‘the mission’ to define and organise our City Groups so that are not just introspective bible study groups (though bible study and community are vital components to any group). So we try to think about each city group being shaped around either ‘peoples, passions, places’;
- A people group (e.g student, the homeless, business people etc)
- A passion (e.g sport, computer games, film, music, books)
- A place (e.g Malahide, Blanchardstown, Rathmines, Stoneybatter etc)