Sundays in August

Sundays in August

Find out all the dates and details for our meetings over the summer. It's a little bit different to normal so make sure you take a look!

ENOUGH Prayer Night

ENOUGH Prayer Night

ENOUGH is a prayer meeting like no other. It's for all ages, so bring your children - there'll be plenty for them to get involved with.

4 things your LIFE Group wants from its leader

4 things your LIFE Group wants from its leader

What does it take to be the kind of leader people choose to follow just because they want to? Authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner have conducted extensive research to answer this question. In their book, The Truth About Leadership, they reveal the answer. It might surprise you.

Learning to be a better Listener

Learning to be a better Listener

Great leaders are almost always great listeners. Try these seven behaviors and watch your LIFE Group benefit from your improved set of attentive ears.

Running Partners: We're better together!

Running Partners: We're better together!

We are less effective in life when we try to go it alone. Whether as a spouse, parent, friend, employee or student, we will be more effective, more successful & increasingly fruitful when we journey through this life with good friends at our side

Time for refreshing is coming

Time for refreshing is coming

'Time For Refreshing' is a brilliant opportunity at King's to engage with God in worship and prayer. 

My Story Abi Harvey

My Story Abi Harvey

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Author: Abi Harvey


When my husband and I moved to Norwich 2 and a half years ago with our 6 month old baby, we had very few friends here. We were isolated, going through some difficult family circumstances and very cold (having moved from a hot climate!!). Looking back I probably had some form of SAD disorder... don't worry I'm ok now. Just invested in some warmer clothes. But I digress. 

We had been attending church for a few months but didn't seem to be building relationships very easily. Our baby was young... we were first time parents... we never seemed to have time to linger and chat to people on a Sunday. Then a kind person at church invited us to their LIFE Group. 

We went along hoping to meet with Jesus and meet with others in the church family. Well we certainly met both! We had found community. We had found a place to engage with people, delve into the Bible and share our ups and downs, praying for each other. 

The bible talks about the early church meeting in homes. I like that. Not so I can check out my friends' latest home decor or the quality of their coffee but so that I can really get to know them. 

When churches were forming after Jesus had left earth I love that they met in people’s homes. I love that sense of meeting together in a home. It’s family. It's where we can get round the table and eat together while discussing the bible; asking the questions we really want the answers to. It's where we can honesty share and pray for one another.

I love being on the journey with friends. That’s my LIFE Group. 

My Story Rebeca Sanchez

My Story Rebeca Sanchez

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Author: Rebeca Sanchez-Clist


It all started 2 years ago

We had a few new international students in our life group, who were all committed christians spending a year at UEA. We knew we wanted to reach our friends and that meant lots of socials, and hanging out together with the friends of our friends. That year we realized that we could easily get 20-30 people (christians and non-christians) together and at the end of a really good year, when most of our life group went back to their countries (to 4 different continents), we decided we wanted to keep the momentum and do more than socials (although they still play a big part!). 

Big Questions

So in October 2016 we started Big Questions. The idea was to provide a safe environment where we could discuss the big topics in life: does God exist, has science disproved God, what is different about Christianity, what is the purpose of life etc. 

A great opportunity

I guess that we felt it was a great opportunity to bring different world views into one room and discuss together what makes Jesus the best answer to life’s questions. The format is simple: a 20 minute talk followed by Q&A. It took a while for the Q&A to work, I think people need to feel it’s a safe place and they won’t be judged for what they believe. We explicitly welcome everyone and never push people to believe what we believe. After 6 sessions of Big Questions we wanted to open the Bible together. I think sometimes we feel like people are not interested in reading the Bible, but we have found the opposite, we have more students when we read the bible together! The format is still the same, we look at a theme using a bible passage, a 20 mins talk followed by Q&A. It’s amazing how people are willing to engage and think deeply about what the bible is saying. Last night Paul did a talk on “the 2 advocates: Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, it was an incredible opportunity and great to see people asking really deep questions like “how can we hear from the holy spirit?” 

The fringe for us are our friends

People like some of us who have come to the UK and want to be part of it. We want to feel welcomed and understand British people and that means understanding Christianity. And as a life group where most of us are international or have lived abroad we understood those needs because we have been there and we wanted to be part of the solution. We love Jesus and we love the nations and we want the two of them to meet. For us as a life group sometimes that takes place in a house, in the park or in the pub with our international friends.

 

Integrating every person into your group and the wider church family

Integrating every person into your group and the wider church family

Author: Paul Hatton


What are we aiming for?

We want Life Groups to be a place where people are connected in, gathering together with other followers of Jesus and become integrated into the life of the church. Thriving LIFE Groups where people feel completely part of them are beautiful things to behold. One of the great things about these groups is that people want to be a part of them and therefore they find it easy to draw those on the fringe in.

This type of integration takes time and commitment but there are a number of things that we can do to help cultivate a culture of integrating our group members in. Here are some suggestions.

 

Suggestions of ways to integrate people

1. Eat regularly!

This isn’t advice for you as leaders, just to keep your strength up. Eating regularly as a group is vital to shaping a healthy group. Over a meal conversation will flow in such a way that people are drawn into the group. As you involve people in the preparation of the meal and the clear up afterwards people will feel a part of the family and that will do wonders for helping them integrate in.

2. Have fun

There are obviously occasions when this is not appropriate but in general when LIFE Groups gather there should be a lot of laughter. There should be a sense of fun as people enjoy each other’s company. The more you get to know each other and the less you’re able to take yourself too seriously the more your group will feel at ease to laugh. Doing fun social events as a group will also really helpful to put people at ease in your group.

3. Make your LIFE Group gatherings work for everyone

Groups go through seasons and one size fits all in terms of when/how you meet doesn’t exist. It is important for groups to realise what season they’re in and adapt the way they do things accordingly. Probably one of the most difficult seasons of life for maintaining a regular time where everyone can make it is when those in your group have children, and particularly young children. Having a rhythm where you meet separately as boys and girls, followed by you all together and something at the weekend to include kids can work really well for example.

4. Encourage people onto the Connect course.

Exploring and becoming a member is a vital part of fully integrating into the church family at King's. Connect is a very low commitment opportunity for people to find out more about King's. They are not signing up to membership by doing the course. The dates are advertised well in advance so communicate these to your group as early as possible so that people can get the date in their diaries. Find the next date HERE. you could also offer to go along with them if they feel a bit nervous about going on their own.

5. Help your group volunteer on a team

If there is anyone in your group not serving in a team already then it’s worth catching up with them face to face and seeing where they’re at. See how you can help them find their place serving in the church family. People in your group can easily register their interest to volunteer on a team HERE

 

Enabling your group to be a group of witnesses

Enabling your group to be a group of witnesses

Author: Paul Hatton


What does it mean for everyone to be a witness?

#everyoneawitness

Jesus sent his Holy Spirit to empower each and every one of us to be witnesses. He commissioned us to share the truth of the gospel throughout the world, starting with where we are right now.

'But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.' (Acts 1:8)

We believe Jesus’ purpose for us is as important today as it was for the disciples in the early church. To be witnesses in all we say and do, whether by words, works or wonders, is a natural outworking of being a spirit-filled people. We want to share and celebrate our stories, however insignificant they may feel, to encourage one another as we step out in faith.

How to cultivate this in your group

1. Share stories

By far the best way to raise expectation and faith is to regularly share stories. Leave time whenever you meet to allow people to talk about the ways that they have witnessed this week. To start with these may seem small and inconsequential. It is important to help people have the confidence to share even the small things. Over time these stories will become more regular. Also make sure you share your failures and laugh about it!

2. Make friends with people who don't know Jesus yet

lead by example and make friends who don't go to church and aren't in your LIFE Group! This might be neighbours, colleagues, or people you met at a group or sports club. Encourage members of your group to do this together and to make friends at the same time. Without a good 'fringe' to your group there won't be much witnessing happening.

3. Provoke and encourage each other to step out

Keep talking to each other about it. Go on the journey together, leaving no-one behind. Keep bringing challenge to those in your group while at the same time challenging and provoking yourself. 

4. Make LIFE Group appealing 

If your group is fun and interesting then your members are more likely to invite their friends into it. Have group socials where you purposefully invite friends along to. BBQ's, cinema nights or just a drink down the pub are easy things to organise and easy to invite along to. Making your group more appealing will also help people to talk positively about the group to their friends.

5. Expect big things from God

'And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.' (Acts 6:8) - As we rely on the Holy Spirit we want to step out more in praying for healing and salvation, expecting in faith to receive words of knowledge, and to have the courage and obedience to follow when God speaks. We want to encourage and challenge one another to share our stories of what God is doing through us, and to know that he can achieve more when we ask to receive the gift of his Spirit.

Investing in friendships around the table

Investing in friendships around the table

Author: Paul Hatton


Very encouraging

As LIFE Groups (LG) we’re entering a new and exciting season and you’re a vital part of it! To be honest, I’m really encouraged. I’ve heard so many stories recently of people genuinely and meaningfully doing life with people in their group; not just scratching the surface but building strong friendships that will stand the test of time. I’ve also been encouraged to hear how many groups are being intentional about drawing in the fringe. Well done! Let’s keep pressing on with making LIFE Groups the best they can be.

What next?

With new additions to the LG Core Team we wanted to take the opportunity to pray and think about the direction God wants to lead us in over the next few years. We were reminded of the prophetic encouragement God gave us early in 2017 to be positioning ourselves for His presence, while at the same time fostering the fringe. These are as relevant today as they were then.

The table

The other thing that God has been provoking us about recently is hospitality and primarily eating together. At heart, it’s really a desire to spend more time round a table; eating together, taking communion and sharing life with one another. I love food so it hasn’t taken long for me to get on board with this. There is something very special about sharing a meal together. It’s normal, it breaks down barriers and it provides a natural context for conversation to flow as well as to invite the fringe into.

For the group I’m in this looks like eating together most weeks. But don’t worry we’re not talking chicken Cordon Bleu! Just normal food. And share the load. Do a bring and share. Make it sustainable; something you can do regularly. Let’s keep encouraging and provoking each other to grow in this. Let’s be a people who gather regularly around tables right across the city and beyond.

So why not give it a go and see how God breathes even more life into your group.

Worship Idea - Thanksgiving

Worship Idea - Thanksgiving

An opportunity for your LIFE Group to mark a moment on your journey together, thanking God for all he has done over the past year and looking to the future.

Connect

Connect

God’s desire for you is not to be an isolated follower of Jesus. He wants you to belong to and play a part in the local church family.

Register your place

Money we gave to Edward & Frieda

Money we gave to Edward & Frieda

The following morning when Edward came down for breakfast, he shared some very sad news; that the previous day, one of his key leaders had collapsed dead, largely due to the effects of the horrific famine they are facing in parts of Kenya.

Leading a Prayer Time

Leading a Prayer Time

Leading a prayer time can be tricky - awkward silences, sometimes tangential directions - how can we prepare?