Connect Groups are the heartbeat of Hillsong Church. With so many people coming into church every week, it could be easy for someone to get lost in the crowd, and this is where Connect Groups play a foundational role.
Connect Groups are groups of people that regularly meet up, talk about life, God, or the Bible, and simply do life together! As our church gets larger and larger, connect groups are key in making it feel small and ensuring that every individual is connected.
SEE ALSO: HOW TO BUILD A CULTURE OF DISCIPLESHIP
Although there are many different models to run Connect Groups, here are four ways that we have found that build effective, ensuring that every individual can be connected:
1. Make it consistent
Consistency is a key part of a Connect Group, because meeting up regularly allows you and the people in your connect group to build trust, develop solid relationships, and journey through life’s challenges together.
Whether it’s weekly or fortnightly on whatever day, make sure that your Connect Group is consistent. Encourage everyone to make a note of it in their calendar, and create the habit of gathering with your Connect Group family.
2. Make it accessible
Having Connect Groups based on location can be exceedingly effective. Try to be spread out geographically when starting and building new groups, so that people from all over the your community can join one convenient for their home or work.
It’s all about making Connect Groups easy and practical for people to meet up. It doesn’t have to be three hours long, and it doesn’t have to be an in-depth Bible study. Maybe it looks like a one-hour Connect Group downtown for employees to meet up over lunch, or maybe it looks like an early morning breakfast before a university class. Whatever it looks like, make it accessible for people to be a part.
3. Make it easy for people to fit in
One of the best ways to achieve this is to build Connect Groups based on age groups. This is effective because people can find their peers and connect with people who are going through a similar season of life.
Create a safe place where people can come as they are, where they can feel welcome and accepted, and where they can be vulnerable and open up. It’s important that we create a relaxed environment for people to be themselves amongst likeminded people.
4. Make it fun
Have fun! Although reading the Bible and praying for each other is an essential part of Connect Group, including a variety of activities will help people love it even more. Allow space to enjoy each other’s company. Play games, eat food and become friends with each other. Connect Group should be something you look forward to attending, not become a strain or a chore.
Ultimately, Connect Group is all about ensuring that people are discipled and that they’re part of a family. It’s so much more than just meeting up over coffee, but it’s a great opportunity for people to be a part of a community, to find solid friendships, support and people to do life with!
This thought was originally shared during a webinar on Connect Groups hosted by Ilze Hofmeyr and our Hillsong Cape Town Team during ‘Online Open Week’ in February 2016. Online Open Week is your opportunity to receive impartation and training direct from the Hillsong team through live webinars.
If you would like to watch the full recording or find out more about future events from the Hillsong Leadership Network, click below.