Five Reasons to join a CIRCLE at Broadmead

At Broadmead we believe CIRCLES are BETTER than ROWS.

Not convinced then please read this short article blog on the idea.

Have you ever wondered what the big deal is about circles (Huddles, Small Groups, Connect Groups and teams)?

Here are five reasons you should consider joining one of our circles at Broadmead.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

Let’s be honest here. We all know there is a gap between who we are today and who we want to be. Maybe you want to develop a new skill, improve a relationship, or get in shape. But we all want to grow into that better version of ourselves.

Christians aren’t immune from this desire. In fact, the entire Jesus movement has focused on learning and growing.

One of the primary places where growth occurs is within circles, where people gather together to learn about and practice the teachings of Jesus.

The first Christian small group was made up of Jesus and the twelve men he invited to follow him. Many of the first churches included small groups of disciples that met in each other’s homes; in the second and third century, many devout Christians even moved to the desert to explore new versions of Christian community in small groups. During the Middle Ages, small bands of Celtic missionaries would travel through the cities of Europe, stopping just long enough to start a new church.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, churches began to organize small groups specifically to help Christians grow. Phillip Jacob Spener, a Lutheran pastor, organized small groups in which Christians discussed the practical implications of their faith. When the Methodist Church began, it was made up of small groups that came together to share stories of how God had been at work in their lives. These models provide the inspiration for the small groups that help Christians grow today.

In sum, Christians have been using circles for almost two thousand years. What exactly is it about circles that helps Christians grow?

1. Jesus’ Way of Life Cannot Be Learned Alone.

Jesus’ teachings fall into two categories: how to develop yourself spiritually, and how to treat other people. Neither of these can be learned alone. They require practice partners who can provide insight, advice, and encouragement. Circles are tried-and-true places to find such support.

2. Support Encourages Change.

We each have damaging, even immature ways that if are honest, we need to change. Change comes as we practice the teachings of Jesus. But it’s hard work, and it is nearly impossible if we’re trying to do it alone.

James, one of the first church leaders, addressed this issue by encouraging those who were learning the way of Jesus to “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Confession is the act of articulating what is wrong. A circle is a safe place to confess and receive encouragement. We come to know the hopes and dreams and struggles of the other group members. With their support, we can grow into healthier actions that are more in line with the teachings of Jesus.

3. Relationships Lead to Sharing.

One of the biggest barriers to growth is “ our stuff.” Much of modern-day culture seems obsessed with accumulating new things. For many, there is no greater fear than losing all of their possessions. A tangible sign of growth is when a Jesus-follower learns to trust God more than they trust stuff.

When we share, we are trusting that God will continue to provide for us. When we receive what others have shared with us, we recognize that we have been given an unearned gift from God. Slowly but surely, sharing helps us to move beyond our self-focused obsession with stuff. Circles provide a place to make meaningful relationships where such sharing can take place.

4. Mission Happens in Circles.

What if Luke had tried to rescue Leia without Obi-Wan, Han, and Chewbacca? Or Captain America had no Hulk, Thor or Ironman , let alone the rest of the Avengers! Or Bill had attempted to go on an excellent adventure without Ted? These stories are great because they demonstrate the relationships that develop when groups go on mission together.

One powerful way that Christians grow from circles is by working toward shared goals and common causes. A group might work together to decorate a room for someone or meals for a new parent. They might band together to serve a fellow group member with a serious health issue. Or they may bond over pursuing similar goals, like developing a spiritual discipline.

When circles unite to accomplish a meaningful mission, growth is the unavoidable result.

5. Circles Take Church Beyond Sunday.

Imagine you went to the gym for one hour a week. While it’s better than nothing, you’d probably just end up sore, tired, and sweaty without enjoying many long-term effects. Losing weight and gaining muscle require a good diet and regular exercise.

If a person’s spirituality is limited to one hour a week, it will be difficult for them to grow. A circle leads to growth by creating more opportunities to come to know God, to practice the teachings of Jesus, and to grow spiritually.

How to Join a Circle?

Perhaps you want to grow as a person and are intrigued by the idea of sharing life with others. Are you hungry for the deep relationships that grow out of a shared mission?

Join a Circle at Broadmead. Here is how.

Huddle – To join a Huddle (3 or 4 people meeting at an agreed time to share life, pray and learn) email your details to myself.

Small Groups – These are groups that run without a time limit or for a year. These can be booked onto by clicking here.

Connect Groups – These are groups that run for a term (10 weeks normally) covering a variety of subjects. These can be booked onto by clicking here.

Teams – Learning and Serving together can be so helpful and you can join a team within the life of the church by clicking here.

We like ROWS but we want to see everyone at Broadmead in a CIRCLE.

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