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Healthy Church—Connect Group Workshop

In March, more than 30 members from throughout New Zealand gathered for a three-day workshop on connect groups. We were delighted to have with us our Australasian Superintendent, Daphne Sidney, who kicked off the programme with a session focusing on GCI’s current re-visioning process.

On Saturday morning, we began with Rex Morgan exploring the “Why” of small group ministry. Next, Dennis Richards facilitated two sessions on the “How.”

Then we created the opportunity for participants to experience hands-on learning. Everyone participated in two separate model connect groups: one Bible study group and one special interest group, which we call a “connecting” group. The topics for the connecting, or special interest groups, were as follows: the Swedish pop music band, ABBA; books and movies; macro-photography and biodiversity; and ideas for taking the gospel to our neighbourhoods and communities.

Sunday morning, we held a debrief discussion of the model group experiences. We reviewed things that had worked well or otherwise. Many points were raised to keep in mind as we continue to work within our current connect groups and develop new groups in the future.

The weekend concluded with a moving Palm Sunday communion service, led by Daphne. The atmosphere was thoroughly permeated with the excited buzz of fellowship and networking of geographically scattered members that never fails to characterise these much appreciated get-togethers. God certainly answered our prayers by providing and inspiring a wonderful experience for us all, leaving us with a strong incentive to go out and develop Christ-centred, healthy, and fruitful small groups wherever the Spirit leads us.

By Rex Morgan, Pastor
Auckland, New Zealand

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