Over the next couple of months, we're going to be making our way through the practices and disciplines Christ Church Inner West (CCIW) has identified as 'The Five Means of Grace'. We believe these practices are vital for growing as 'fully devoted children of God who know, love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ, his church and his world'.  We hope you enjoy this series of reflections about each 'means of grace' by members from church. The first 'means of grace' is 'joyous fellowship', which involves gathering regularly in smaller groups, around the scriptures and in prayer, for fellowship. We asked John Langley a few questions:

 

Over the next couple of months, we're going to be making our way through the practices and disciplines Christ Church Inner West (CCIW) has identified as 'The Five Means of Grace'. We believe these practices are vital for growing as 'fully devoted children of God who know, love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ, his church and his world'. 

We hope you enjoy this series of reflections about each 'means of grace' by members from church. The first 'means of grace' is 'joyous fellowship', which involves gathering regularly in smaller groups, around the scriptures and in prayer, for fellowship. We asked John Langley a few questions:

1. How long have you been involved in a fellowship group? 


I’ve been part of a home group since mid 2011.

2. Can you recall a significant moment for you that you shared in fellowship with your group?


My daughter died in a car crash in 2011. It was this that prompted me to join a home group. The support of my group really helped me with the process of grief. Prayer encouraged me to express my emotions and  deep suffering associated with my loss. 
 

A couple of years later Jill, our leader at the time, guided us through Job. I couldn’t have come close to getting through this by myself. What a comfort this proved to be! 

3.  Can you recall a difficulty that you have had to overcome with regards to participating in a fellowship group?
 

I have had trouble with praying aloud as part of a group. Nevertheless, this challenge has helped me to listen better, to try to find appropriate words, and offer up our concerns to God.

4. What has being in a fellowship group taught you about the Christian life?


We are all in this together. We do our best but ultimately God is in control. We are all common humanity with very similar issues in life. Sharing amongst the group encourages me that I am not alone. The faith of my fellow Christians is inspiring.


I have also come to realise that the Bible is best as a shared and oral text. All too often i have been confident that I understood a particular reading only to be amazed at how a group discussion opens up so many different aspects that I had not even contemplated.

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