New Church Groups FAQs


Learn more about groups.

What are groups?

A group is a set of about 3-12 people with a shared interest in the New Church. Groups are people getting together for spiritual connection and community, encouraging meaningful relationships with the Lord, the Word, and each other. Activities include prayer, study, reflection, and discussion. Members often collaborate to choose content, meeting times and venues, and other details.

What’s in it for me?

Feel included, inspired, and loved!

Get to know yourself better and make new friends. Improve and deepen your relationship with the Lord and the Word. Experience a healthy, interactive environment for spiritual growth. Make time for important reflection and contemplation. Learn and practice skills of listening and sharing. You may even find that being in a group complements and strengthens your experience of worship, education, and service in other settings.

Who can lead a group?

Facilitation (group leadership) is open to anyone with a basic level of training, which the Office of Outreach offers. Facilitators can be laypeople or ministers, but do not need to be experts in the selected content. Important qualities are willingness to be led by the Lord and willingness to serve the group’s best interests. A co-facilitator is also very helpful, especially when the facilitator is unavailable.

What about content?

Choosing content to explore and discuss is up to the interests of the group. Some groups are more intellectually oriented. Others emphasize more heartfelt sharing. Some put extra attention on usefulness and service. You can find many resources on New Church Books

Where & when do groups meet?

Groups can meet in person, online, or hybrid. Online groups are popular and effective! In-person and hybrid groups benefit from a host who provides a suitable meeting environment. Scheduling and regularity of meetings varies by the group’s preferences. Some groups only meet several times or seasonally. Others meet weekly, every 2 weeks, monthly, or quarterly. Length of meetings is often 60-90 minutes.

How do groups run?

Our suggested meeting format includes an opening welcome, brief prayer or meditation, check-in, content exploration and discussion, closing thoughts, and the Lord’s prayer.

Some groups invite members to take turns with different features of the meeting such as offering a prayer, leading a meditation, timekeeping, or introducing a topic for discussion.

Each group agrees together on guidelines for their meetings. For example: be fully present, listen attentively, only one person speaks at a time, allow everyone time to speak, and avoid cross-talk, etc.

What groups aren’t

Groups may include deep dives into theology and spiritual growth, but they are not simply presentations, lectures, or educational courses. Members may offer compassion, support, and community through good times and bad, but groups are not therapy sessions. Participants may feel motivated to live their beliefs and values beyond the group, but groups are not committees or service activities on their own.

What’s expected of me?

Important qualities to foster include a positive attitude, an open mind and heart, a willingness to be led by the Lord, and a desire to share and learn through good communication.

 

Daily Inspiration

"As long as we believe that everything good comes from the Lord, we do not take credit for the things we do as we practice goodwill."

True Christian Religion 439