Intentional Discipleship was a term used by the recent ACC in Lusaka as it encouraged the world-wide Anglican Communion to foster activities which promote the discipling of all church members as a conscious and deliberate and regular activity.
Some churches in this Diocese already have a pattern of mid-week meetings, house groups or occasional Study Groups to deepen and broaden the faith of the baptised people of God but many do not.
Friday/Sunday worship includes preaching with the intention that congregational members learn something new and apply it to their lives but there is no time for discussion and the necessary teasing-out of Scripture to ensure that all comprehend fully.
If you do not have a weekly context for this kind of activity here is a simple pattern for a weekly home group/cell group, call it what you will group.
- Agree a day, time and place for an hour and a half meeting for Sharing, Bible-Study and Praying
- Aim for between 6 and 10 participants.
- Nominate a facilitator and a host to oversee refreshments.
- Begin with refreshments and invite each person to share something about their week, their thoughts, concerns and activities whilst everyone else listens. Take 20 – 30 minutes on this.
- Look at the Bible passage(s) from the previous Friday/Sunday and discuss your response and reflections on the sermon. The preacher might offer 2 questions to aid and shape the discussion. Take 20 – 30 minutes on this.
- Share prayer in whatever way that best fits the group – prepared liturgy or open extemporary or any other way. Light a candle, share silence. Pray for the concerns shared at the beginning; pray for the world; pray for the church; pray for each other.
These LifeGroups, can be self-sustaining and do not need expert leadership but perhaps Clergy and Readers can play a significant role in overseeing their development.
This model is offered as one among many. If you’d like to know more about how it has been working in 3 groups in Cyprus where more than 50% of the weekly congregation attend each week, please contact Canon Paul Maybury.