GROWING WITH OTHERS
We want to practice the way of Jesus and apprentice ourselves to Jesus and Huddles are an environment where we are leaning to do that in the context of community, where we commit meeting at least once a month, with three or four others of the same sex and commit to doing so for at six to twelve months.
In a Huddles the goal is to grow in our discipleship and form accountable relationships. They are a safe place to share (come as you are) and a challenging place to grow (but don’t stay as you are) and function around four key elements that provide opportunities to:
To be able to form a deep relationship with each other we have to meet together. Proximity means face to face contact and is important in our formation as individuals. Keeping the relationship going means staying connected to each other and checking in with each other regularly. Friendships can’t grow if we don’t make time to meet and talk.
Huddles are made up of three or four people who meet together at least once a month; in a home, in a pub/coffee shop or online, some early in the morning before work, others during a lunch break and others last thing at night. You don’t need to be best friends already, in fact we think groups can work just as well, sometimes even better when they are formed of people who’ve only known each other for a little while.
This is a time for each person to share their story, it’s a chance to look back over the significant moments of each of their lives – the good, the painful, the disappointing, the momentous, the confusing – all of which has led to where each of us now are. It’s an opportunity to better understand ourselves and how God has been at work in each of our lives, where we can build honest, life-shaping relationships with the rest of the group. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on how each of our stories – no matter what they contain – are being drawn into a larger story of God, a story that is travelling towards a beautiful end. When we capture this reality it gives us a clearer vision and purpose for our lives today.
There are some ground rule for sharing; always share for yourself, using “I” statements, respect each other – give everyone time to share, listen well, what people say is important. Don’t put your opinions/feelings on others, everyone has something valid to share, be real, be open, be honest and remember, confidentiality is really important… what is shared in your group, stays within your group.
This is about forming new practices that shape our lives, in order that we might shape the world around us. Each month members of the group will collectively practice one spiritual exercise that helps them be with Jesus, one that helps them become like Him, and one that helps them do the things He did.
Huddles might also use things like books, podcasts, essays and other teaching material that aid and challenge everyone to grow together. Each Huddle should make sure there is time to discuss what each person is learning about themselves and how their engagement in each practice is forming them and the world around them.
We are called to contend for each other by prayerfully and practically asking for a move of the Spirit in each others lives. Praying for one another is at the centre of everything we do, as we acknowledge that transformation into the likeness of Jesus does not come from our will power but from His power at work in our lives through the Holy Spirit.
Each time a Huddle meets stand with one another in prayer, continue to prayer for one another over the month and encourage one another by giving updates on breakthroughs and answers to prayer.
Top Tips for Huddles:
- Huddles are made up of three or four people of the same gender.
- You don’t need to be best friends already. Huddles can work well with people you know. We believe they can work just as well, if not better when they are formed by people who’ve only known each other for a little while.
- Take time to pray about who to be in a Huddle with, and then be bold and ask them.
- It’s a good idea, at the start, to allow each individual to share what they expect from the Huddle. Discuss the level of commitment required. Check you’re all on the same page. Doing this will give your Huddle the best chance of thriving.
- It takes time to develop a deep friendship with people, don’t give up too soon. If your Huddle relationship really isn’t working after 4 months, perhaps it’s time to look at other people to Huddle with.
- Don’t just give up on your Huddle, if you want to stop, discuss it with those involved.
- We feel that a Huddle relationship may naturally run its course after 6 to 12 months. This doesn’t mean you have to stop, but it is a good time to chat through where you are at. If you want to continue, make a commitment to meet for another 6 months before reviewing again.
- Begin your Huddle with an expectation to grow and be prepared to be challenged.
Once you’ve gathered 3 or 4 people, please register your Huddle. Once registered, you will be sent a link providing access to resources for you to use.