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 Wednesday 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 ths:
The group officially starts at 19:30, but people tend to arrive any time after 19:25, up to around 19:45, and so the first half hour of the group is generally taken up with chatting, catching up on news, sharing news about group members who can’t make it that week, and generally just relaxing with a cup of tea or coffee. Around 20:00, we’ll spend a few moments opening in prayer, and then worship through song. After that, we spend 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. We will then spend some time in prayer – how long this lasts depends on what prayer requests people have, and is always guided by the Holy Spirit. Although the group officially ends at 21:00, people tend to stay a while longer, chatting, supporting and encouraging one another.
OUR CURRENT CONNECT GROUPS AND LEADERS
David & Dorothy Stephens
Alternate Mondays, 13:30-15:00
Nick & Kate Watson
Wednesday, 19:30- 21:00
Antony & Jo Stones
Wednesday, 19:30- 21:00
Paul & Heather Gibson-Simpson
Thursday, 19:45- 21:15