These are opt-in, deeper discipleship, same-sex groups of 2-4 that meet, at least fortnightly, for 6 to 12 months. People in them meet to address these questions:
G – goal – how have you got on generally, and especially with your growth goal?
R – role – are you listening to and asking questions of each other well?
O – oh – what are you seeing and savouring about God?
W – woe/wow/go – what do you need to confess and repent? How are you enjoying God’s grace/forgiveness? How will his loving mercy motivate you to go for God re your growth goal this week?
G.R.O.W. groups are for Life Group attendees to get more time together in a smaller context to share more intimately. They’re for parents, 18-30s, 30+s to meet to encourage and learn from each other. They’re for ministry leaders, and more experienced disciples, to spend time investing in the next generation. They’re for anyone who wants to accelerate their spiritual growth.
These groups were inspired by the three-person conversation on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:13-35). Discipleship was happening on the road, with Jesus, as life was being done together. It was taking place around issues of the moment, ‘now’ emotions, like anxiety, fear, and discouragement. It involved asking questions: ‘what…?’ ‘what…?’ ‘was it not…?’ and honest sharing. The Bible played a major role. It led to burning, happy hearts.
We encourage people to form their own groups, starting with people in their Life Group, the ministry team they’re serving in, or social groups they’re a part of, e.g. 18-30s, families. But if you’re not sure who to ask, or where to start, please send us an email at and we’ll try to help.
Groups typically meet fortnightly, for 6 to 12 months, for 1-2 hours. They work through the G.R.O.W outline, alongside some relevant Scripture-rich material of their choosing. That could be our current Sunday sermon series, or a past one, or a book that’s more relevant to people’s G.R.OW. goals. If you need help or suggestions for materials check out this list, or please get in touch.
Focus massively aids spiritual formation, so we encourage everyone in a group to develop a growth goal. This is an area they’re hoping to grow in as a result of meeting. It could be growth in an area of personal struggle, e.g. fear of failure, or a battle with pornography. It could be growth in a spiritual discipline, e.g. keeping the Sabbath, or intercessory prayer. It could be growth in a spiritual gift, e.g. prophecy. It could be growth in a particular relationship or stage of life, e.g. as a spouse, or becoming a parent. It could be growth in mission, e.g. street evangelism, or upskilling yourself in apologetics. We encourage people to hear from God, and write out and then share a clear, specific growth goal with their G.R.O.W. group.
Every person in the group has two main roles:
(1) To share honestly how they are doing generally, and specifically in relation to their goal.
(2) To listen lovingly, ask good questions, and speak the truth in love. Ask questions that get below the surface: What happened? How did you feel? Why do you think you reacted that way? Is there something in your past, your childhood, that might be relevant here, a past hurt for example? Or are you just hungry/tired/grumpy? Why have the latter occurred? Is there something you need to confess?
Speaking the truth in love is about helping each other see Christ more clearly. It’s about awe. Hearts burning with God’s glorious attributes. We need a recovery of “Oh”, “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down” (Isaiah 64:1). It’s about growing our longing to see God, for him to come in power in and through each of us. We hope you’ll be able to do this through the materials you’re using. If you’re listening to the Sunday sermon, or reading a chapter, try doing so not just for yourself but also those in your group. Think about what attribute of God (or thing God has done for us) the sermon/chapter highlights that one or more of the people in your group might particularly need to hear and reflect on?
Seeing God should help us to see our sin. What sins, in particular, have been an issue this week? Are there sins beneath the unwanted behaviour/habit being addressed, if it isn’t a sin itself? Take time to confess sin, to God, in the presence of others in the group. That’s the woe. But do it in the context of in 1 John 1:9 wow, absolute assurance of God’s total forgiveness. Then commit to go. When Isaiah saw the Lord (Isaiah 6:1-9), he confessed his impure speech. After he was cleansed, he obeyed God’s call to go. “Here I am! Send me” he said. In what specific ways can you go for God in the particular area you are working on this week/fortnight? Share something that you could do/be/think/try that you will reflect back on, and be gently, gracefully, held accountable about, at the start of the next meeting.