‘Glorify your Son – John 17 for Growth Group leaders

Faithful in prayer week 8 – 17/6/24

Dear Growth Group leaders, 
We’re moving around different parts of the Bible in this ‘Faithful in prayer’ series. I hope you and your groups are coping with & benefitting from this whole-Bible approach to prayer. 

And I hope you are able to continue to pray for the names of people that were noted in our 1 Thess 1 study week 4. 


Next week we come to John 17 – Jesus praying. The aim is to see what & who he prays for, and to join in praying for the same kinds of things Attached are some questions you could use / adapt as needed. 

On page 2 of the attachment is a quick plan of where we’re headed over the next three months. In summary: after prayer & Romans 12 ,we have our normal 2 week holiday break scheduled. Then we’re into evangelism training before we come to Romans 15-16. 

Owing to my holidays (2-23 July), I’d like to defer our next GG leaders meeting to Sunday 4-Aug 3:00pm at our home please. 

Thanks for all the ways you are loving and caring for God’s people and leading us into his word and his ways. in Christ, Mark 

Colossians 4 Devoted to prayer

7/6/24

Dear Growth Group Leaders, 

This week in our series on Prayer, we’re getting more practical. Praying in a certain way, praying for various priorities, who to be praying for, and what to be concerned to pray.

I hope therefore it is an instructive week for our groups, helping us take small steps forward in our practice of prayer.

Particular helps

I don’t mention this in the Word Dwell Richly podcast with Jaden, but as I think about it now, this would be a good week to briefly share one or two helps to pray. By this I mean tools that can be used to help us remember to pray for certain people, priorities, and events:

  • Some use journals to write down lists;
  • others have folders with prayer updates that they add in.
  • The CCA diocese shares points each fortnight to help us pray.
  • I use prayermate a very helpful app on my phone to help me with names, events and particulars to be bringing to God in prayer.

Below are some questions we’ve drafted for Colossians 4:2-18. As per usual, please adjust these to best suit you & your group.

And our Word Dwell Richly chat is here.

Go well with your groups this week. I’m praying for you.

in Christ, Mark

Psalm 44 Prayer during trials

2/6/24

Dear Growth Group leaders, 

Find below some possible questions to use with your groups in the week ahead.

This time we’re meeting head on the issue of when God’s answer to our prayers seems to be ‘no’ / ‘not yet’ / ‘something different’. 

From my own pastoral experience, its this common experience that can put some people of persevering in prayer. 

Without in any way wanting to minimise the grief of an apparently unanswered prayer, at the same time, God urges us continue with him. 

Psalm 44 models this approach for us. 

Hope it’s a helpful week together as you meet. 

in Christ, Mark

God’s sovereignty and our prayers Acts 4

27/5/24

Dear Growth Group leaders 
Please find below a set of questions you might consider using with your Growth Group this week. 
This week as we continue to grow in prayer: God’s sovereignty and our prayers. More than one person has said to me: “Since God is in charge of everything and knows / controls all things, why pray?” – A very understandable question, a likely roadblock to our prayers, an issue that is worth addressing. 
And it’s interesting – the first Christians in Acts 4 – noticed the same dynamic and it led them into prayer. 
Below is also a chat with Jaden and I explaining the logic of them.

Hope this is helpful. 
I’m praying for you and your group this week. 
in Christ, Mark

Praying God’s priorities 1 Thess 1

19/5/24

Dear Growth Group leaders

When I was reporting on our great progress as groups to Vestry last week, I was able to say around 47 members of our church have attended a growth group in the last 3-4 weeks. This is wonderful in many ways: one way being that we are all growing in prayer!

This week our focus is praying God’s priorities: especially his priority to see people turn to trust God and live for Him. 

A slightly different ending this time – we’re getting super practical.

Picking up on the good suggestions of our Mission team, I’ve suggested in the attached questions that we land this study with an exercise in identifying for one individual each that we can be praying for as a group each week in the months to come. 

Below are the questions I’ve written, as well as a 20 min chat about these with Jaden.

Go well this week. I’m praying for you.

in Christ, Mark

Supporting our Ministry Interns

May 2024

We give thanks to God for Jaden & Zoe, and Katie & Tim with Teddy. How can we support Jaden and Katie as they train and grow and exercise ministry among us?

One obvious way is by encouragement: as you are able, spur them on.

Another obvious way is to pray. Ask God that his Spirit would equip Jaden and Katie with all that they need to serve in ministry and spur on our mission as a church.

A third way, is to financially support them individually. Three points of clarification on this:

1) Together as a church we already are financially supporting Jaden and Katie. Your giving week by week enables us to pay our bills, our Vicar, and just over half of each Intern’s stipend. And Martin announced at the AGM, that money has been generously provided to guarantee that two interns are able to be supported by our church for the next year. Praise the Lord!

2) Internship training involves personal fundraising as a skill for ministry. Each Intern raises just under half their stipend by personal fundraising among family, friends, colleagues and contacts.

3) If you would like to assist Jaden and Katie with the personal fundraising part of their stipend, they would warmly welcome this. To do so, you could send through a bank transfer to our Redeemer Account, naming the person you wish to support in the reference field. Our bank details are below.

Or you could speak to, or email Jaden or Katie or the Wardens or Mark: contact us.

Thanks for your warm welcome to both families in recent weeks /months.

in Christ, Mark

Praising God in our prayers

10/5/24

Dear Growth Group leaders, 

Hope your week on Hebrews 4 and Psalm 25 has gone well. Thanks for your GG reports with the positive comments. 

Please find attached our questions for next week: starting in Psalm 96 and comparing with Revelation 5:6-14 – an ideal week to split into two groups. 

A chat with Jaden about these questions is below, as are the questions.

If I can help further, please get onto me. 

I’m praying for you. 

in Christ, Mark 

His resurrection body guarantees ours

4/4/24

Dear GG Leaders.

I hope you (like me) have had an excellent week with God’s people discovering more of the riches of the resurrection. I’m so glad we’ve got these four weeks to dig into this chapter.

Please find attached some questions for next week’s passage 1 Cor 15:35-49.

And below is the link to the chat concerning these questions.

Programming Note: this little podcast is now having a short holiday. We’ll return with our new Prayer series late in April, for your Growth Groups week commencing 29 April.

As per my earlier message, here is the plan for the coming weeks:

MondayGrowth Group passageSunday sermon, passageNotes
8 April1 Cor 15:35-4914 Apr.1 Cor 15:35-49 Spiritual bodiesResurrections bodies then
15 AprilGG Break.  [1Co15:50-58]21 Apr.1 Cor 15:50-58 Labour in the LordResurrection ministry now
22 AprilGG Break.  28 Apr. Ephesians 1:1-14Jaden preaching God’s big plan
29 AprilPrayer passage 15 May. Prayer series beginsOur plan is to spend 6-7 weeks…
6 MayPrayer passage 212 May. Prayer series continues…on prayer convictions & practice

We’re due to have another GG Leaders meeting on Sunday 5 May.

In Christ, Mark

1 Corinthians 15:12-34 Since he has been raised…

Dear Growth Group leaders,

Happy Easter to you. Praise the Lord that Christ is risen.

Find attached some questions and the link to our podcast for our next section of 1 Corinthians 15:12-34.

This week feels like it should be a holiday week – but as school resumes after this long weekend, and because we’ve only been going in our groups 6 weeks, my thought is to continue until the school holidays in later April.

You are in the best position to work out what to do with your group. Perhaps you want to keep charging on until winter! I find a short autumn break helps maintain energy through term 2.

My plans, including for what we’ll be preaching when are as follows:

MondayGrowth Group passageSunday sermon, passageNotes
1 April1 Cor 15:12-347 Apr. 1 Cor 15:12-34 Since he has been raised…Resurrection life now
8 April1 Cor 15:35-4914 Apr.1 Cor 15:35-49 Spiritual bodiesResurrections bodies then
15 AprilGG Break.  [1Co15:50-58]21 Apr.1 Cor 15:50-58 Labour in the LordResurrection ministry now
22 AprilGG Break.  28 Apr. Ephesians 1:1-14Jaden preaching God’s big plan
29 AprilPrayer passage 15 May. Prayer series beginsOur plan is to spend 6-7 weeks…
6 MayPrayer passage 212 May. Prayer series continues…on prayer convictions & practice

Hope this helps?

We’re due to have another GG Leaders meeting on Sunday 5 May.

In Christ, Mark

1 Corinthians 15:1-11 A message to hold onto

22/3/24

Dear Growth Group leaders

Hope you’ve had a valuable time in Luke 18-20 with your groups these last 7 weeks.

As we come to Easter this week ahead, we’re moving to a new series in 1 Corinthians 15 called ‘made alive’.

On Good Friday, I’ll major on the substitutionary atonement of the cross 1 Cor 15:3.

On Easter Sunday, I’ll preach 15:1-11 Paul’s good news to hold onto.

Find below the questions that Jaden and I have drafted for our groups for our studies this week.

A reminder to invite your group to join us for a Good Friday lunch at Annie & Gerhard’s place (friends welcome).

On our website is also our podcast/ chat about these questions.

Thanks for your group reports and feedback.

in Christ, Mark