Connect Groups are what we used to call Home Groups. You might have heard them referred to as cell groups or Bible study groups in other churches.
At CTL we firmly believe that church is so much more than the Sunday morning meeting. Connect Groups are essential in the life of the church. We encourage everyone to join one of our Connect Groups, because these small groups are a great opportunity for people to get together during the week, to build relationships, to pray together, to support, to encourage and disciple one another. Connect Groups also offer the opportunity to dig deeper into the Bible, to ask questions and to share thoughts about the previous Sunday’s sermon.
There is a strong Biblical basis for our Connect Groups. In the early church, it was common for people to meet together in homes for teaching, worship, prayer and fellowship. As a church, CTL seeks to keep as close to the New Testament model of church as possible, which is why Connect Groups are so important to us.
The Book of Acts contains numerous references to groups of people meeting together – see, for example, Acts 2:46; 12:12; 20:8 and 20:20. There are similar references in Romans 16:4-5; 1 Corinthians 16:9; and Colossians 4:5.
Currently, we have one Connect Group that meets fortnightly on a Monday between 13:30 and 15:00, two that meet on a Tuesday evening, and one that meets on a Thursday evening. There is also a group called ‘Download’ that meets on a Thursday evening, for those on a journey into faith in Jesus Christ. The format for our Connect Groups is usually the same – although sometimes things will happen a little differently! To give you a feel of what a Connect Group looks like, this is what happens at a typical evening may be like this:
after the start time, the group exchanges news from the past week, over a cuppa. Then there may be an opening prayer, possibly including worship. After that, the group spends 35-40 minutes studying the Bible, asking questions, sharing thoughts, and discussing the points and questions that might have arisen from the previous week’s sermon. Then there will a time of response, and some concluding prayer- how long this lasts depends on what prayer requests people have, and is always guided by the Holy Spirit.
OUR CURRENT CONNECT GROUPS AND LEADERS
David & Dorothy Stephens
Alternate Mondays, 13:30-15:00
Charles & Catherine Walters
Every Tuesday, 7pm
Dave & Emma Hutchings
Freedom in Christ Course, every Tuesday
Download (co-ordinated by Gilly Dickons)
An outreach based every Thursday 7:30pm at St Thomas’s Church, The Groves
Paul & Heather Gibson-Simpson
Thursday, 19:45- 21:15