During our Youtube worship services, you may have heard Pastor Joel mention the Grow Group or our Grow journey at St Mark’s. For those who don’t know much about this, here is a little of the background about "Grow" and what we've learnt so far.
Grow Group is not really meant to be another committee or a new program, it’s more of a learning process designed to renew the vibrancy of our congregation.
A group of us from St Mark's have agreed to be mentored in a two-year program by the LCA Grow Ministries team. Our coaches, Pastor Nigel Rosenzweig and Rachel Schilling, are helping us to re-think how we approach child, youth and family ministry.
We’ve teamed up with the Chinchilla Ministry Area to form a "Grow Coaching Cluster" to do six workshops over the two years – so far we’ve done three.
Each workshop is firmly founded in biblical teachings and we spend time dwelling in the Word. We then explore modern research and strategies to shake up the way we look at Ministry. Underpinning all the learnings are the 10 guiding principles developed by the Grow Ministries team – and of course also layer on to this our own St Mark’s guiding principles.
The first workshop was held in October last year, where we were invited to "Rethink" the way we approach our church life and rather than separating children, youth, worship... into separate SILOS, we looked at how to embrace a "whole faith community" – inter generational ministry.
Why? Research shows that lifelong faith formation thrives when two or more generations are entwined in genuine connections.
We were reminded of the beautiful passage in Psalm 145: 4-5
"One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty - and I will mediate on your wonderful works."
Scripture is full of examples of how faith is passed from one generation to the next.
Little ideas are being woven into our practices at St Mark’s. Earlier this year at a church service (before COVID) you might remember Pastor Joel asked all the little people to find someone who was over 60 to ask them some questions and we’ve had bring a grandparent to ZOOM Sunday school.
Intentionally connecting different generations can have a significant impact on helping our faith stick.
Our second cluster meeting in February 2020 focused on what intergenerational really means, and understanding the differences between generations. We also looked the essential parts of congregational life – caring, celebrating, learning, praying and serving.
Our third workshop was about Faith formation at home – where we learnt the keys to supporting and equipping families including caring conversations, devotions, service and rituals and traditions.
Our next workshop will be in November – we’ll let you know date and times as it gets closer.
The Grow Group would like encourage anyone from the congregation to register for these workshops – it’s not a committee or another job to do, it’s just a chance to spend time in devotion, to learn from wonderful mentors and explore new ideas – a new way of thinking.
If you can’t attend, you can support the journey by praying for learning and the opening of our hearts and minds to change and growth.
There’s so much we’ve already learnt – too much to share in this little update – so please if you’re keen to know more - have a look at the information on Grow on our website or have a chat to one of our Grow Group members - Pastor Joel, Lois Strand, John Hensel, Cameron Brauer, Kirstine Brauer, Megan James, Carlin Ruhle, Alexandria Kruger, April Strand and Evan Reichelt.
We look forward to continuing our Grow Journey with our whole intergenerational church family!