Fellowship Groups are regarded as an essential part of the Church's spiritual life. Some key aspects of growing as a Christian are hard to do in a medium sized or big church.
Things like sharing your experience, caring for others, exploring your faith and that of others, sharing your feelings, exploring others’ understanding, delving a bit deeper than the Sunday sermon, showing God’s love for others are just a few of the things that are easier to do when there are fewer people around. This is where small groups come in.
The idea of a small group is nothing new and has been around since the first Christians gathered together. When we meet together in small groups we can grow more effectively as Christians. We grow up, in and out.
- Up - Our relationship to God.
- In - Our relationship with one another.
- Out - Our relationship with the wider community and the world.
If you have never been along to a fellowship group meeting, then you are probably wondering what can produce such results. Well, yes, fellowship groups can be amazing but the basic format is very simple: a group of individuals get together regularly, normally in somebody’s home, and follow a pattern of worship, study, prayer and fellowship. For many fellowship groups it does not stop there; they may meet for the occasional meal or for a day out involving other members of their family or friends.
If you want to know more or wish to join contact Linda on 0114 236 8977
Here is how three fellowship group members describe what their fellowship group means to them.
“For me a fellowship group is an extended family. You have the chance to get closer to people and be more involved in their lives than would ever be possible in the normal church environment. It’s been absolutely fundamental to my growth as a Christian through the love shown to me and being able to walk with others through both joy and disappointment. Hearing and seeing others’ faith is one of the best ways to strengthen your own.”
“My fellowship group is very important to me and I receive great strength from it both spiritually and practically. It is a place where I feel I can share and pray more freely. The members of my fellowship group have been a great support to me; in fact I don’t think I could have moved house without them. I highly value the friendships within my group.”
“My fellowship group provides a ‘safe’, loving environment in which to share concerns, doubts, questions and thoughts. It’s somewhere to receive non-judgemental support and encouragement, as well as receiving teaching through good bible study. Even when I am not able to attend the meeting I’m still able to give and receive support through prayer.”
Fellowship groups have been part of the life of the church at Totley Rise for a very long time, but if you have never been part of one why not give it a try. Give one of the stewards a call and they will arrange for you to ‘test drive’ a fellowship group. If you are already a member of a fellowship group, take a moment to reflect on the blessings you have received from the group and think about ways your group can develop in the future.
Most groups meet on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings. One group meets weekly, on Monday mornings in term time, on church premises - specifically catering to mums with young children.