Intentionally pursuing Jesus as disciples together
Here at St George’s we believe Jesus is calling us to follow Him in every aspect of our lives and we have five practices to help us do that together, to grow in faith and as disciples.
Under each practice are some examples of ways to connect with each, but each list is not exhaustive, and we will update with more examples through time as we discover all the ways to engage.
We are a family on a journey, we are committed to gathering together on Sundays and belonging in midweek Hope Groups.
Regularly attend a Sunday Gathering. We currently have two here, one at 10:30AM with Kids Church, and one at 6PM followed by Hope Cafe.
Committing to a midweek Hope Group. There is always a place in a Hope Group for everyone, whatever age and whatever life stage.
We practice breathing in God’s Spirit daily through simple habits of prayer, worship and reading the Bible.
Reading the Bible (Scripture memorisation, Bible plans). Apps such as YOUVERSION or BIBLE IN ONE YEAR can be a great place to start, as well as She/He/Kids Read Truth which has options for the whole family.
Daily Prayer (Prayer journal, Confession, The Lords Prayer, Liturgy). If knowing how to pray or what to say is a barrier then there are plenty of options of set prayers that can help you start off time with God. Journalling also gives the chance to look back at all God has done.
Using worship music (Listening, singing or writing songs). Spotify or Youtube has lots of worship playlists and suggestions if you need new stuff, including some we have created (stgeorgesdurhamroad). Also, God created us all to be creative, so see what comes out when you play some music and speak to Him.
Fasting. Learning to depend on God is a constant journey; sometimes having short periods of holding back from things that bring us comfort allows us to come to God and re-prioritise ourselves back onto Him. This might be food, but it can also be distractions in our day-to-day that prevent us from spending time with God, such as Netflix or our phones.
Silent contemplation. In the hustle of life, we often fill it with music, podcasts, chatter or our own busy thoughts. Take some time in silence to be in God’s presence and ask Him to fill you with His Spirit again.
Retreating in nature. Sometimes we just need to get away or out of civilisation to remember just how big God is and how powerful He can be. Being in nature is a great way to retreat and bring your life into God’s hands again.
Podcasts. Every week, we post the talk from Sunday with some questions to help you unpack what God might be saying to you, but there are loads of podcasts out there that help to dig deeper into God’s word and His mission. Just search a topic or an interest into your podcast provider and see who’s also out there with the same passions.
We give in response to what God has given us, not because He needs it but because we want to as an act of worship. This means giving our time and money to build His kingdom.
Money. Being generous with our money is part of our lives as disciples. By giving away, we thank God and make Him more important than our possessions. Do pick up our Giving card for more information.
Joining a Team. There are so many ways to get involved at St George’s and we love being on team. It’s not just about serving but also about investment and the community you get to be part of. There’re Sunday teams and mid-week teams to suit your availability.
Offering your time to help. As well as teams, there are one-off chances to get involved, plus when part of a Hope Group, people always need a hand here and there. Try being more generous with your time and see how God can use you.
Encouraging words. Being on the look out for and taking opportunities to build each other up, and in the process realising the power of life-giving words and actions in spurring others on.
Intentionally share life with others and grow in faith together by committing to being in accountable relationships.
Showing hospitality. Opening our home to people can be vulnerable but it’s so life-giving, you don’t have to put on a banquet, beans on toast is plenty! But being open to allowing others into our lives is exactly what Jesus exemplifies for us.
Meeting in accountability groups. Hope Groups are wonderful places to grow in faith, but sometimes we need slightly smaller spaces to pray and regularly process what God’s saying to us, this is where being in accountability relationships with 2-3 others is a great opportunity to learn vulnerability, honesty and support.
Being part of a prayer triplet. Similar to accountability groups, prayer is powerful, especially when you let others into that process and really press into what God is saying in a really intentional way.
Joining with some friends for table talk. Maybe due to kids or the business of life, having a small 2-3 person group is a challenge, try finding three families/couples to meet up to talk about what God is saying and pray and support each other.
We live out our faith in our everyday lives by finding ways to share the hope we have in Jesus with those around us.
Talking to our colleagues about Jesus. Sometimes this can feel daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. Try sharing what you are excited about in life, what passions you have and how God is part of those. Or how He may have helped you through a difficult time.
Praying with a friend. Offering to pray for someone is rarely rejected, so why not, with permission, briefly pray with a friend when they’ve shared something with you, there and then, and allow God to fill their lives with peace in that time.
Loving your colleagues. This can be as simple as a smile, baking some cakes to bring in, or remembering to follow up over the weekend what they might have said they were doing. Jesus loves those around Him simply by being with them and talking to them, giving us full freedom to do the same.
Standing for what you believe. Is gossip an issue at your work place? What change could you bring to that? Are lunch-time conversations particularly negative or discriminatory? Try explaining why you don’t think it speaks of a world of love and compassion.
Bringing your People of Peace along to Church. We often talk about and pray for those in our lives who we could say are People of Peace (those who like you, listen to you and serve you in day-to-day life). Why not invite them along to one of our Sunday gatherings? If they have children, why not invite the whole family to join in with Kids Parties, Holiday Clubs or Tots and Toddlers?
Going out into the streets to share God’s love. At certain points in the year we do this as a whole community, but it’s also doable on your own street or neighbourhood. Give out chocolates or write some cards to your neighbours. What an impact we could have if we all shared God’s love with our streets and the difference it could make to this area!