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'Getting Together for Godliness' Groups

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Our chief concern as Christians is to glorify God, and the best way for us to do that is to live godly lives. Fellowship with other Christians is one of the main gifts God has given us to help us live our lives for him (Heb 10:24-25).

So the idea for these groups is not for ‘older’ Christians to be teaching ‘younger’ ones but rather for like-minded Christians to get together regularly - say once a week or once a fortnight - to encourage one another to grow in godliness, to become more like Christ (Phil 2:5).

Two female Christians... posing for a photoBut how can we do that?

Well the first thing is to agree between yourselves that godliness is going to be the reason you get together! It’s going to be really easy to get distracted by loads of other things. But resolve at the beginning to set aside that hour per week, or whatever you decide, for the purpose of godliness.

These notes aren't designed to be a ‘strait-jacket’ for how to plan your meetings, but a guide to help you. No pattern or system will suit everyone, so you may wish to change things to your tastes, but try to make each of these four elements a regular part of your meetings.

Above all, we will only grow in our godliness by God’s work in our lives. So let’s pray as we begin, and at the beginning of each meeting, that God would indeed graciously be making us more like his Son.

  1. Bible
  2. Pray
  3. Share
  4. Pray

 

1) Bible

Start off by getting stuck into the Bible. There’ll be time to go through all the other things you want to talk and pray about later!

God has chosen to reveal himself, and how Christians are to live, through the Bible. In the Bible we find all that we need to start and continue the Christian life (2 Tim 3:16-17). So the Bible should be our teacher. Prov 3:5-6 tells us to trust in God’s wisdom not our own, so start off by seeing what the Bible has to say.

Well that’s easy to say, and we’d probably all agree that it is true, but it can feel confusing and daunting to know how to start. There are lots of different possibilities, maybe you could…

Whichever you chose, try to be working systematically through bits of the Bible, or whole books if possible. That way you don’t fall into the traps of just picking the easy or comfortable bits, and you don’t avoid the harder or less comfortable bits.

As you study the Bible try to…

If we let the Bible set the agenda right at the beginning of our meetings, we can be confident that we are learning God’s truth, and keeping his priorities.

 

2) Pray

After you’ve spent time studying the Bible, take time to pray through the things that you have learnt. Thank God for what you have learnt about him and who he is. And pray for yourself and each other that the truths of the Bible would transform your lives.

Prayer does involve bringing all that is on our hearts before our loving heavenly Father. But we need to let the Bible teach us what we should be asking God for in our prayers (John 15:7).

So before we pray specifically for the issues in each other's lives, take time to pray through the things that we have just learnt from our Bible study. The things we have learnt that God thinks are important.

By ‘praying-in’ the truths from the Bible we will again be learning to keep God’s priorities our own, and it will help us to put other things in our lives into perspective.

 

3) Share

Two male Christians... also posing for a photoAs we study the Bible and find out more what it means to live a godly life, we will of course also be finding out in greater detail how far short we are falling of God’s perfect standard. An important part of helping each one another to grow in godliness is to share with each other the areas in our lives where we are finding living God’s way hard (James 5:16).

It is often hard for us to admit those areas to ourselves, so the idea sharing those details with others may sound daunting if not terrifying! It is not easy, and does take time and trust. But remember you have decided to get together to help each other to be godly. That means you have already acknowledged that you both need help, like we all do.

By sharing with each other we can pray more specifically, and may be able to help practically or to offer support and advice.

Nobody finds sharing easy. But we can make it easier for each other, by being loving and non-judgemental.

At times part of the loving thing to do may mean we need to rebuke or correct one another by reminding them of what the Bible commands, but this must always be done in love and sensitivity.

One way to help each other to share may be to agree on certain questions that you ask each other each week, like ‘How are your quiet times?’ or ‘Has your relationship with you boyfriend/girlfriend been too physical this week? Etc. Alternatively it may help to agree to consider certain topics each week that you know you struggle with, this may include (with Biblical references to what our attitude should be)…

As you begin to share it will get easier, and as you learn to trust one another it may be appropriate to add questions or topics to your list. Also as you look at the Bible together at the start of your meetings you may wish to add questions that the Bible is asking.

Don’t expect to share everything on week one! But do be faithful in asking the tough questions and sharing the tough answers each time you meet.

 

4) Pray

(Ps 55:22, 1 Pe 5:7, Prov 15:29)

And of course once you have shared with each other how you are doing the best things to do is to pray. Pray specifically for each other’s godliness, and the areas that you are struggling with, and also give thanks for God’s help in the areas that may not be a struggle at the time.

Finally share how else you can be praying for one another trying to keep in mind what you have learnt from the Bible earlier. Do try to remember each other in your prayer between your meetings.