One important way we learn, grow and reflect is through having conversations about God.
This could be within Sunday services, mid-week small groups, and many other formats. Through these conversations, we learn more about our faith and open ourselves to the Holy Spirit working within our hearts.
In our mission
Whether you’re volunteering at a food bank, chatting with people at a pub, at a knit and natter group, or watching a film together, plan to spend some time chatting with people about life, God, the universe, and everything!
"We always have good conversations about faith at our monthly Repair Café sessions.”
“We put a floor map in our church foyer. I popped in to our parent and toddler group on Monday. The children were driving toy cars all over it, using the map lines, which was brilliant to see. Our team have had many interesting conversations with parents who were curious about what it was while they crawl around on it with their children.”
In small group meetings
A powerful way of growing as a disciple of Jesus and providing support and encouragement to one another is within a small group. In the early days of Methodism, members met in larger classes for learning and prayer, and smaller bands of around five people for mutual accountability.
“My faith journey is so much richer through learning from other people, whether that’s a fresh interpretation of a Bible passage, or how someone’s faith affected their day at work or parenting decisions.”
You could meet to study the Bible, explore faith for the first time, or to reflect together on where you are seeing God at work in your life and the world. These groups could be Class Meetings, smaller groups within a Methodist church, or a fresh expression of church. But remember, this isn’t about learning good doctrine (though that’s good too!), it’s about sharing your experiences together, and listening to, valuing and learning from one another. For more information on facilitating group discussion, check out Talking of God Together.
In Sunday services
Sunday services can be exciting places of discussion, interaction and questioning. Sermons are a great way to introduce heart-changing ideas and convey information. It can also be very helpful to provide a place for people to go afterwards where they can meet each other and discuss what they have heard.
If you’re a preacher, why not cut your sermon in half? Use the remaining time to discuss a few questions with the congregation about their understanding of the text and how it connects with their life experiences.
You could also ask people to write down their thoughts and pass them to the front, so as to include those who don’t feel comfortable speaking in a group. You could also ask for responses in poetry, artwork, or even dance!
Coming soon: resources to explore A Methodist Way of Life through Sunday sermons, discussions, and creative activities for all ages.
Activity: Use the floor mat and badges to facilitate conversation for for travelling together as you deepen your discipleship.
What if someone says something potentially offensive?
Experience with many groups has taught us that this is rare – don’t let this fear put you off.
Here are some ways to respond and move the conversation on without agreeing with their opinion:
- I hear the pain in what you are saying.
- I noticed that you said xxx. Let’s hear from someone who thinks differently about this.
- Let’s pause for a moment of quiet reflection (count to 10). What do other people think about the original topic?
- Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it’s clear we have some differences of opinion. Shall we look at another question?