In these early stages, it would be fair to say we don’t have a very complex structure for looking out for each other – the model is basically, erm… look out for each other.
Sundays, Join a Team and Alpha are great spaces and places to connect with others and find the people and structures which work best for each of us. It’s Grown up church – take a deep breath: suggest something to someone and go for it! It could be a prayer partner, prayer triplet, asking someone to “mentor” you, reading the Bible together, a couple of families hanging out, dinner with friends and praying after, down to the pub for a deep and meaningful…whatever suits you.
It’s kind of Free market church. And in whatever structure we get together to pray and look out for each other, here are some guidelines you may find useful:
1. Lead each other into more “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (1 Timothy 1:2)
- Grace: we’re not trying to make people feel bad about what they’re not doing, but to receive all the glorious riches of God’s grace in their lives
- Mercy: pastoral care is not indulgent (telling people they’ve done nothing wrong), but it is letting them know they’re forgiven
- Peace: we constantly seek to reconcile each other to God and to other people: friends, family, work colleagues etc
2. Focus on three aspects of living well:
- Devotional life: our life with God, through worship, prayer, reading the Bible, reflection
- Domestic life: our life with one another, home life, work life, social life
- Directional life: our life’s purpose and goals, in terms of our character, career, choices