A Core Group is a small group of church members (normally 3 or 4, and certainly no more than 5) who want to grow as Christian disciples and encourage each other to do the same.
A Core Group is…
- a place of honesty. Without honesty a Core Group will not work. You need to trust each other and be willing to ‘tell it how it is’. You also need to have courage to ‘speak the truth in love’ to one another. Inevitably, it takes time for trust to build, but it will grow quicker if people are willing to risk honesty from the start.
- a place of accountability. In a Core Group you are inviting other members to spur you on in your Christian life. You are giving them permission to ask you hard questions and to hold you to commitments that you make. A Core Group is a place of support. Here you should be able to share concerns, joys and challenges from the whole of your life, because the goal is to work out discipleship in the whole of life. The Bible calls us to ‘bear one another’s burdens.’
- a place of encounter with God. It’s a great place to pray for each other, to seek God together. It can also be a place to study the Bible, with a view to honestly applying to your lives.
- a place of growth. It’s a place for encouraging one another to ‘press on towards the goal’, for celebrating successes as well as sharing struggles. Some Core Groups may last many years with the same members. Others will be time-limited or be reconstituted with different members as people move on.
A Core Group is not…
just a group of friends. It helps if you like each other, and friendships will inevitably deepen! But the primary purpose of the group is discipleship, not friendship. Sometimes being mates can actually make it more difficult to stick to the task.
a place to gossip about church. In fact, you need not talk about church at all. This is about your relationship with Jesus as Lord.
a therapy group. In a Core Group you are not attempting to solve each other’s problems. Nor is it enough to listen, pray, advise and leave one another to manage alone. Rather, you are there to help each other follow the Lord Jesus, and to walk alongside each other as you do so.
A Core Group comes together by mutual agreement. Look for two or three people that you would like to meet with. They do not need to be in your home group or Mid-Size Community (though they can), but they should be the same gender as you.
Core Groups will not be organised centrally by the church. Click on the image to download a PDF of our Core Groups getting started guide
We suggest that you meet every fortnight. Meetings need not be long. An hour can suffice. In practice, you will take turns to speak. The others will listen, question and pray for you. At times it will be right to offer advice.