groups & communities

Spring Term 2023 & The Coming Changes

OUR GROUPS ARE CHANGING

Looking for Spring Term Group & Community sign-up? CLICK HERE!

In November 2022, we began to share our desire to change our small groups in 2023 which we think will help us all feel more connected, cared for and commissioned – taking ownership of our apprenticeship to Jesus, becoming more like Him, and joining Him in his call to each one of us to make disciples (Matt 28:18-20).

All through this process we want to do our best to be clear in our communication, but also not rushing this transition. Below we hope to answer some of your questions.

If you have any further queries about our Groups, Communities or how you can get involved that these few paragraphs haven’t been able to answer, please pop an email to communities@nenevalley.church or speaking with Chris and Clare Evans.

WHAT ARE THE NEW GROUPS?

We are calling these new groups ‘Communities’ to help differentiate them during the transition. For the most robust explanation, have a listen to THIS TALK, or click on the button below for more info.

In brief, these new Communities are aiming to meet weekly over a meal or a slow drink, breaking bread (communion) together, encouraging one another, praying together, supporting one another and where practicable to aim to be built up of people in a similar geographic location (so we can best bless and care for our local communities, joining in with God’s mission there).

It’s a commitment to a group of people, to become family with them, grow in deep trust and love for one another, creating spaces where each person can be really known. We’re also wanting to open up the invitation to households in this – so often our kids and teenagers are excluded from this kind of discipleship, and where appropriate, we would love to see whole families included.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?

COMMITTING TO ONE COMMUNITY

We want folks to be drawn together in family around a location as Jesus has brought them together. Hopefully in your community will be people of different life-stages, cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, with different preferences and experiences. There will be a time of settling in, getting used to each other and learning how to be around those people (note, we are probably ALL those people!) in your community who disagree with you on something etc!

Does this mean we shouldn’t spend time with others? Not at all! We all need to spend with others! If you want to see friends, gather around the Bible, encourage one another, express fellowship in other ways etc, then we would encourage that. The church is a big family. Being part of an ‘immediate’ family doesn’t exclude you from your extended family – and so it is with our Communities.

Being part of an ‘immediate family’ doesn’t exclude you from your extended family

Some of current Groups may just need some minor reimagining – how might God be using this to build relationship in our neighbourhoods? Is there any opportunity to turn this Group in to something else that features in the church calendar etc? 

We would love to have these discussions as we go on.

A TIMELINE

There is a season where we will have both Groups and Communities running together.

Groups can be based around a common intereste, a Bible study, a topic, relationship building – and can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly. For example, we have walking groups, Bible study groups, a monthly men’s breakfast. We still want lots of this to happen in the life of our church community – but they’re a vital part of our calendar and activities.

SPRING TERM

5th Feb-8th Apr (9 weeks)

(Sign up opens 29th Jan)

In this term, we anticipate most groups being ‘Groups’ as opposed to Communities. In this term we’ll begin unpacking more of what we think it will mean to lead/host/be part of a Community.

Summer Term

15th May-15th Jul (10 weeks)

(Sign up opens 1st May)

We would love to see additional new Communities launched in this term, with a mixture of Groups and Communities remaining.

During this term we’ll do some specific training for those wanting to lead Communities, walking alongside those who feel a prompting from the Lord.

Autumn Term

24th Sept-2nd Dec (10 weeks)

(Sign up opens 11th Sept)

In this term we would hope that all our smaller groups are now Communities, with some additional things in the NVV calendar.

SO, NOW WHAT?

This term we are looking for both Groups and to start conversations about future Communities. In both cases, step one is simply to let us know if you would like to lead a Group this term (in the broad scope of ideas here) or begin a discussion about a Community in your locality. You can do that below.

If you have any further questions, or would like to know more about events aimed at helping us move toward Communities (e.g. training etc) please do pop an email to communities@nenevalley.church or chat to Chris and Clare Evans.